Monday, January 1, 2024

Happy New Year and a Reminder


Happy New Year all.  I hope you had a nice evening whether you had big plans and are nursing a bit of a headache from the bubbly or if you were binging The Watcher on Netflix and finished at 2am or did whatever you usually do on a Sunday night, the new year came whether you watched a ball drop or not.  We did not acknowledge the day, ignored the fireworks that popped after midnight and there was no uttering of 'happy new year.'  Just a smooch before turning in for the night as usual.

Even if we didn't celebrate, we're wishing you all a wonderful 2024.


I do want to give a reminder that most people don't think of as we go into the new year.  If you know someone who lost a friend or loved one in 2023, please check on them.  They are not okay.  What is more painful than spending your first traditional holiday season without them is 'leaving them behind' in the old year.  This is the first year they are seeing a new year and their loved one isn't.  It feels like they're being forced to abandon them and that feeling sucks and is very traumatic.

So how do you say happy new year to someone who is grieving?  You don't.  There's nothing "happy" about it for them regardless of how long it's been since the passing in 2023.  (Or whenever you happen to stumble upon this)

Instead you can say something like any of these:

I'm so sorry _________ isn't here to begin this new year.  I know they are always on your mind and you are on mine.

I'm sure New Years Day can be even harder than the other holidays since you are starting a new year without them.  I am thinking of you today and sending you love during this difficult time of year.

I wanted to wish you well in the year ahead and let you know I'm thinking of you.

I am thinking of you as we start this new year and know it could be harder than anticipated.  I am here for you if you need to talk, reminisce, laugh or cry.  You are not alone.

I thought of _________ as I counted my blessings of the old year going into the new and I wanted you to know that.  They are remembered and loved and so are you.  Wishing you healing going into the new year.

It is nice to know that people are thinking of you instead of feeling like everyone has moved on and partied hearty while you may have been having one of the worst days of the year.  Grief is lonely in ways you can't even fathom even with the best of support systems, so the smallest gesture of remembrance can mean everything to help them feel less isolated and alone.

To my fellow grievers, I wish you a...

Whether your grief is new or you're a few years in, I'm wishing us all a gentle new year.  The last one sucked and I assume a good majority of this one will too as I continue on my "firsts."   I see other people getting on with it and starting to recite some froofy stuff that is not where I'm at.  Fine for them, not for me.  Everyone grieves at their own pace so don't be afraid to tell people swept up in the usual new years excitement that want to sweep you up with them that's not where you are yet.  We've got a lot to sort out this year so know this is always a safe place for you to exhale if you don't have unicorns flying out of your butt after some grief epiphany others are hoping you have to get "back to normal."


If you or someone you know is going through a grief process, you may find these resources given to me by a friend helpful:

Crisis Text Line or text 741741

Books I'm currently reading:

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  1. Definitely not a normal start to a new year but Im kind of glad we didn't have any fanfare. It was just enough to get through it together.

  2. The hubs and I haven't celebrated new years for over a decade for specific reasons, so the holiday doesn't compute in my head. I'm one the weirdos who views our birthdays as a new year, rather than a calendar year, which isn't the norm.
    It's been such a dreadful season for you guys so all the hoopla everywhere is so far from reality. You guys are getting through each day together and are supporting each other through tears, memories, and deep conversations. It doesn't cure anything, but it can give some comfort when you're going through it with someone who totally understands that exact grief because you both lost someone so vital to who you are as individuals, and as a couple. I'm thinking about you guys always and sending hugs of understanding.

  3. It will be tough. I know for the longest time I kept thinking how weird i felt. A 50 year old orphan. Everyone didn't get it. Give yourself time. It takes your time.

  4. A gentle New Year to you as well {hugs}


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