Grieving During the Holidays as a Special Needs Family
posted on Raising the Extraordinary
The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I love Christmas. Celebrating the birth of Jesus, the decorated trees, nativity scenes, cookies, seeing family, ringing in the new year with anticipation of what’s to come. It’s a very exciting time of the year filled with love and joy.
Well, most of the time anyway. As a special needs family, the holiday season can also bring feelings of grief as we are bombarded once again with the realization of just how different our family is. Don’t get me wrong. I love our family and everything about them. But even though my love for our family runs deep, it doesn’t mean there are not those moments where I feel the sting of their diagnoses all over again.
The holiday season is a time of reflection. Often, we find ourselves reflecting back on our Christmas celebrations as a child. We want to experience some of those same traditions with our own children. As a special needs family, we may or may not be able to participate in these traditions with our children.
Our children with special needs may not be able to participate in Christmas pageants. They might have sensory sensitivities that prevent them from wearing the pretty Christmas dress. Maybe their diet restricts them from enjoying Christmas cookies. We may not be able to take them sledding or skating. Sometimes, it may even be as extreme as not being able to attend family gatherings because of the sensory overload it can bring.