A Day to Celebrate or A Day to Grieve

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With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day recently behind us, I have found myself thinking more deeply about these two holidays and the assumption that everyone is happy to celebrate these days, or at least that is how the card companies portray it.   I will graciously agree that for most people these are two happy days that they […]

JoyWith Mother’s Day and Father’s Day recently behind us, I have found myself thinking more deeply about these two holidays and the assumption that everyone is happy to celebrate these days, or at least that is how the card companies portray it.   I will graciously agree that for most people these are two happy days that they willingly celebrate.   However not everyone looks forward to these days; for some these two days bring up difficult and sad memories.  Maybe a reminder that the parent they loved so dearly is no longer with them, or perhaps a reminder of a not so good relationship with that parent, or a reminder of children not able to be had, or children who have died.  No matter the reason, the reality is that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be very difficult to get through.

If you are one for whom one or both of these holidays are difficult, I am here to say – it’s ok.  Contrary to what society blares across the advertising airwaves, you do not have to jump on the all is hunky-dory band wagon of celebration.  It is ok to say I don’t really like today and would rather just go hide until the next day.  Grief is something that is a process and a journey that while it gets better, it is never over.  Days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can trigger these feelings of grief again.  So if you are one who dreads these days, know that there others out there who “get it” and that it is only one day.  Be gentle with yourself and know that the next day is a new day.

If you are one who joyfully celebrates these two days, that is ok too; in fact that’s great.  I just ask that you remember and be aware that not everyone feels the same way and if you meet someone who does not feel the same way you do, be gentle and give a bit of extra kindness on what could be a difficult day.

So to those celebrating these days, I celebrate with you.

To those wishing the day would just get over with – I grieve with you too.

Peace and Blessings,

Chaplain Joy

Joy Freeman

Joy Freeman

I am an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches, USA and am also Board Certified through the Association of Professional Chaplains. You will find me most often in the course of the day in the Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, or on the Maternity Units. When life is falling apart, often what is needed is someone who can be there to listen or just sit a person with no time constraints. It is this being there, a quiet, calming presence in the storms of life that draws me to chaplaincy and keeps me coming back each day. When not at work you will find me at home with my family or participating in one of my many church activities. My greatest joy in life is being a mother and wife. I enjoy a good mystery or fantasy novel. You might find me baking bread, working on a scrapbook, or practicing Tai Chi or Tae Kwon Do. If I were to give one piece of advice, it would be to work to maintain a balance in life of work, family, and activities that will sustain you personally.

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