When Tradition Doesn’t Work…


This may not be the case for everyone but it certainly has been mine. And I’ve watched the same happen to my son as well. This has to do with traditions. What I have learned since living through a whole year of firsts after my husband died is that sometimes the things we did as a family or as a couple that made wonderful memories and traditions no longer work for us.

Sadly through grief, sometimes the favourite places and things and food that we experienced in the past that hold the best memories were the most painful ones after my husband passed. It’s very counterintuitive. I believe that when we continue re-living these experiences they often bring on tremendous grief and pain. I believe this is sometimes where we who are grieving can get stuck. The re-living of favourite habits, rituals, and traditions can bring on the sharp pain of the physical separation in grief, especially if it is too soon after losing a loved one.  For my son and myself, we had to first go through a period of learning about ourselves and find our new normal.  Our “wholeness” as a family is gone from us and we are healing through the void of absence of my husband and my son’s father.  For example, cooking in the kitchen and spending time creating new dishes was a passion of mine that I shared with my husband. After he passed that passion was too painful to get right back into.  For my son- he no longer wanted to play the game of hockey. It’s too close a memory for him that he associates with his dad.  He now loves the game of football. We have found new, different activities and interests that are not attached to memories. This change has been helpful and healing.

Time is not collectively answered here as it is different for everyone. But for me and my son the early steps of acceptance and learning needed to take place first or we could have fallen back into re-living the past in our present behaviours.  That would have been a very painful place to get stuck. I’m glad we branched out into the new and different this past year.  I think it propelled us forward towards finding our “new normals”.  Now we can embrace past rituals and traditions with happiness and with our hearts full of gratitude for the memories.

Thank you for all the feathers you left us this weekend, Jordon!  We noticed and we believe!  👼🌊🐠

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