2020 is here. Everyone is posting on social media about “New Year, New Me” or their new year’s resolutions. Everyone this time of year is setting new goals and intentions to make this the best year ever. Those who lost a loved one in 2019 are facing 2020 without their loved one. The question that I feel those who are bereaved are focused on is “How am I supposed to do this?”
Well, my first idea for how to answer this question is to not focus on resolutions. Those of you that have been reading my posts for awhile know that I don’t do annual resolutions. I focus on a word that helps set small goals for the year, and for me, that makes the whole “new year, new me” a little more approachable. After my mom died in mid-November back in 2010, I had to approach the upcoming 2011 with questions of the unknown. I knew the next year was going to bring a lot of change and hardship as I tried to navigate a new life without guidance from her, and that was overwhelming. So I tried to just come up with a word that I could keep in mind as I was making those hard choices and transitions that year. It wasn’t a perfect year, but at the end of it, I felt like I had accomplished something I had set out to do without pressure of having to be perfect every day.
One of the hardest things we have to do on our grief journey is to learn how to embark on a new life while remembering our loved one and keeping them with us along our journey. This is Worden’s fourth task of mourning that we must accomplish before we are able to say we are in reconciliation of our grief. Of his four tasks, this is the hardest to do. When we lose a loved one, we struggle trying to even picture life without that person, let alone creating a new one where they aren’t there. This year, if you’re facing 2020 without your loved one, I want to encourage you to allow yourself grace. This year may not be perfect. But in those clouds of our grief, we do see rays of sunshine. I encourage you to live in the moments that are full of warmth. And I encourage you to accept that you do not have to set all these resolutions that you then guilty for not sticking to. Find something that works for you in this new life you are creating. My word for this year is Vision. What is your word or intention going to be?