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Chronic Illness & Holiday Loneliness

Christmas 2020 may be the loneliest holiday ever. Many of us with chronic illness are going to be sheltering at home instead of our usual travels. The holiday season is one we look forward to all year long. There’s nothing better than joining around a Christmas tree or eating a huge feast with loved ones. We’ve been missing out on so many celebrations and social occasions this year. Adding December to that list will just push many of us over the edge of loneliness.

Our family will be stuck at home and will miss out on seeing our adult children and grandchild. The loneliness will be severe, but at least I have hubby and one adult child with me. I’ll be reminiscing over years past when everyone could be together. Even though large family gatherings usually have some unhealthy drama, they will still be missed.

Some of us with chronic illness will experience loneliness and some will experience depression. It’s a year when we need to be sensitive to those around us who feel depressed. We need to be more compassionate because you don’t really know what people may be feeling deep inside. Even if we work hard to hide it, it may be a sad time. If you know someone who is going to be alone this year, please try and reach out to them. Write a sweet, encouraging note in your Christmas cards or spend a little extra time on the phone.

lonely woman

Text messages can be cheerful, but it’s even more heart-warming to hear someone’s voice and the care in their tone. Using a video like Zoom or Face-Time, you can see and hear those that you miss. Our family plans to do this, because I don’t think I could stand it without seeing my family. I really hope to see my daughter-in-love’s pregnant self. We’ve only seen the sonogram on a text message, but even that is wonderful. Yes, I’m going to be a grandmother for a second time!!!

Drop a tin of cookies on your neighbor’s door step and ring the bell. There you have it: a no-contact holiday treat! Make it a point to go on social media and just send out random holiday greetings to your internet friends and acquaintances. You don’t have to know someone personally to make their day. The world has been so ugly, it’s about time we spread a little love around.

I hope that you won’t be alone for the holidays. Hopefully everyone has someone or a pet. Pet’s bring so much companionship! I love my Archie. He’s the cuddliest little dog and always knows when I’m feeling bad. He gently puts his paws on my chest and looks me in the eye. Then, he’ll usually curl up in my lap and offer all his little love. If you’re able to care for a pet, you’ll be rewarded with all of their cuddles, licks, and sweet faces.

I would love to hear about your holiday plans. Feel free to share any pictures or thoughts below. And, I hope that God blesses you with a great pre-Christmas time. Happy wrapping, eating, and movie-watching. Stay warm and stay safe.

@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman

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