Why is Christmas so difficult for those in deepest grief?
Because our culture and society encourages the pursuit of so many things that are not spiritual. The original reason for this holiday is purportedly to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Aside from the documented historical implausibility of the legendary concept, the holiday has been hijacked for earthly reasons. The pursuit of wanton things, driven by money and corporate greed is antithetical to spirituality. Children learn from our culture that receiving tangible presents is the reason for the season. They also learn that family and friends cannot be celebrated without consuming excessive amounts of unhealthy food and alcohol. The presents, food and alcohol are all escapes. They enable escaping from what society tells us we want. None of those wants are spiritually fulfilling.
Those who are grieving are not welcomed by many during the Christmas season. It doesn't fit with the narrative of their superficial celebration. Rather than embracing a celebration of the lives of our loved ones, they choose to pursue a less spiritual path of ignoring those lives. Where does this leave you? Hiding away your feelings and even hiding physically from those who claim to love you. Avoidance, shame and feelings of neglect are common for the grieving.
Those who ignore or shames family and friends in a time of need are behaving in a manner consistent with the teachings of the savior they claim to follow. This should not be surprising because religion is rife with hypocrisy. Those who need comfort and understanding during their darkest hours are shunned in the name of celebration. What is the point of celebration if it is only inclusive of those who hide their pain?
Let the holiday season be a lesson in grief and spirituality. Spend more time with those who acknowledge your loss and feel comfortable talking openly about your loved one. Distance yourself from those who are more concerned with earthly pleasures and shallow celebrations. Over time you will discover who truly cares about you. That process will help you discover who you are spiritually and progress toward a soulful connection with your loved ones who have passed.
If you are interested in exploring the concept put forth here, please read my second book entitled From Grief to Awakening: Discover Hope and Healing in Your Own Spirituality.