Really IHOP!?


Well, it has happened. Yup, I just saw the first holiday commercial of the season and it wasn’t for toys or jewelry or cars (I still don’t get that one), it was for of all things-PANCAKES! Not just plain boring pancakes but fun, holiday flavors…..geesh!

For those of us grieving, it can be an unwelcome sight to be assaulted by holiday commercials this soon. I understand that for others it is exciting to start thinking about the 2017 holiday season-the twinkly lights, holiday music, gingerbread cookies and hot cocoa. The one thing that both sets of people have in common is anticipation. Anticipation in regard to those who are grieving means that they are dreading facing the tough holiday season ahead. This signifies yet another special time of the year without their precious loved one. Oftentimes the anticipation is worse than the actual day or event. It can feel much like being on a roller coaster and sitting at the peak of a huge hill-you’re grasping the safety bar with both hands, your stomach is a little queasy and you’re waiting to take the plunge downward. There’s so much “build up” to the holidays especially and sometimes it feels like we have no way to protect ourselves emotionally during this time of the year. Although it is a very meaningful time for many of us, it brings with it intense memories of years past and this magnifies the fact that our loved one is no longer physically here.

Be gentle with yourself during this difficult time and most importantly let others know what you need. Those who are experiencing the unpredictability of grief are looking at the world through a different filter especially during the holiday season. If you or someone you know is in need of grief and loss counseling, I can help. I can be reached at 240-298-2442 or

Published by melindaruppertlcpc

I am a licensed clinical professional counselor in Maryland specializing in grief and loss.

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