You may know artist Anne Wilson from her incredible song “My Jesus.” What you may not know is that she lost her brother Jacob in a tragic car accident in 2017. It forever changed her family and her future. She sang in public for the first time at his funeral and God called her to use her voice for Him.
In an episode of the “Holy Mess Podcast” Anne shared that Christmas is one of the hardest times of the year. Her family didn’t celebrate for years, but is slowing starting to again.
Here are 3 tips from Anne’s experience on how to handle grief during the holidays:
1.Don’t feel the need to celebrate.
Just because everyone else is putting up their tree, does not mean you have to. Anne explained that her family did not even want to get out the Christmas boxes or ornaments because there were too many painful memories tied to them. It’s ok to stop the present giving and Christmas card giving. They simply did not celebrate because they did not want to be reminded of their loss.
2. When you do celebrate, do it differently.
Anne Wilson’s family decided not to go back and open their old Christmas tree ornaments, but to buy all new ones. They are finding ways to create new memories and ease back into doing the holidays. You can ditch old traditions with painful memories tied to them and do something completely different. There is no rule book on how to celebrate Christmas, so do it in a way that feels right for you after a loss.
3. Find a way to honor and remember your loved one.
Anne Wilson’s brother loved wild animals so they chose to decorate their tree with all new ornaments that reminded them of Jacob. Find small ways to nod to the person you love and miss so much. You can get create in how you reflect their passions in your new Christmas celebrations.
To hear the whole conversation about grief during the holidays with Anne start at 11 minutes into this video.