There is no positive way to look at the holidays after loss.

I really tried. I know this is not your typical self-help talk.

I can give you all the positive words and ask you to do your best, but you and I know it won’t work.

You know the work we do here is about realistic expectations and real help.

This is not a movie where everyone ends up with someone to love during the holidays.

Sometimes it does happen and we are happy when it does. But this letter is for everyone who is not surrounded by loving families during the holidays.

So, my dear friend, first of all, I am so sorry it is going to be a hard holiday this year.

I am sorry for everything that has happened.

But I do know there is a place within you that holds all your courage.

This place has carried you all along and during this next month and we will need to use a lot of it.

I remember the first holiday on my own and it was utterly heartbreaking.

Nobody could make me feel better.

No matter what they said and did.

No matter how many people came to visit.

Of course, it was very nice, and I was very grateful that they did, but it wouldn’t last.

There was no cure, no numbing and no release. Not then.

Not during the early years.

So today, I just want to talk to you and ask you to find a way into your courage source and use that courage even though it feels like there is none left.

Even though you feel like you don’t want to keep going. Today, I am going to ask you to keep going. To keep accessing your courage.

To keep finding a way to get through your days.

I want to get us to 2017 and then we will take it from there.

For now, just focus on these next few days when all of your resources might feel empty.

We need to get through this in one piece.

I have some suggestions and let’s try some of these and see how we feel.

We are going to get through these next 7 days first and then next week we will check in again.

For this Holiday season I am going to ask you to give yourself permission.

Permission to lower your expectations of yourself. To indulge. To escape.

To say yes to your secret needs.

To allow for crying days.

Let your house get messy. Stay in.

Watch movies all day. Whatever it takes.

Just give yourself permission to be however you need to be.

Remember you don’t have to look a certain way to others.

You don’t have to keep up appearances.

You don’t have to show anyone that you can do this.

This is your life and you get to do this holiday thing the way it serves you.

I used to go away during the holidays.

I would take the girls get on a plane and just leave it all behind.

I would go to a vacation place where nobody knew me.

And that was very cleansing for me.

This Thanksgiving weekend is the first time I am actually going to be at home.

So, if you need to leave your house and go somewhere else go.

If you need to stay inside for a couple of days and not pick up the phone do that.

This holiday season you need to do exactly what you think will get you through. This is your only goal. (Click to Tweet!)

With love and lots of getting through,


PS. Starting this next Tuesday I am very happy to announce that every Tuesday I will be adding a new blog called where I get to explore the world beyond this one. The Message in a Bottle, of course, will continue as is. But for those of you who are seekers and want to discover a bigger world come and join me here.

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Christina Rasmussen is an author, speaker and social entrepreneur who believes that grief is an evolutionary experience required for launching a life of adventure and creative accomplishment.

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