Trevor Hayley


Funeral and Life Memorial Celebrant

A Caring Presence for you and your family so you can Celebrate a Life

Servicing Greater Adelaide, Fleurieu, South Coast and Adelaide Hills Regions of South Australia



A New Year……..Gulp!

The ‘Hole’ of Grief #1

You got through Christmas………. 

Ever since you witnessed that final breath of your loved one a few years back, the ‘festive season’ together with all of the carols, tinsel, trees, food, friends and family has not felt quite the same. In fact, Christmas feels quite weird, the person who held the celebration together is no longer around, well physically anyway, and ‘something’ is missing. Each year, you know it is going to be the same, and just long for the days when you were together, and Christmas took on a magical kind of feeling. 

And soon after Christmas, we stare into the possibil ‘ities’ and opportun ‘ities’ a New Year can bring. In fact, as I write this blog, we are going into the 2020s, and new decade seem to bring all of the ‘ities’ into firmer focus, almost compelling you to have another look. But you really cannot be bothered. At the end of the day there is no one to really share it with. It is just too much effort for too little personal return. There is a risk it will not work. And coupled with this, if you try to ‘let it go’ you will be betraying the memory and the special times you had together, and they may be lost forever. 

But here is a thought. What about if you did not ‘let it go’ but were somehow able to incorporate the past memories into new ones? After all, you cannot just turn love off; it will continue long after the physical presence is gone. Maybe instead of letting go of the ‘hole’ that has been left inside you, a choice you can make is to embrace it? 

What do you mean? You ask incredulously! I thought the grief ‘process’ was about letting go so I can move on! 

Well yes, it is a strange thing to contemplate. But could it be, you really cannot say goodbye to that part of you, and all those special times you have shared. It feels like a betrayal. Well maybe, just maybe, the answer is to not let it go. Maybe it is a realisation the hole will always be there, in some shape or another, and, in a healthy way, to embrace it. 

By embrace I do not mean a downward spiral into depression and staying indoors. No, what I actually mean, is accepting the fact the hole will always be there, to treasure all that hole represents, and then incorporate that treasure and memories as you move into new adventures and experiences. 

In essence, maybe this is the answer to loss, of which grief is a critical part. It is not about forgetting or letting go. It is about embracing ALL of your human experience as you move into a ‘new normal.’ 

Maybe, as we go into a new decade, we could ‘dare’ to make this choice. Take the legacy your loved one has left; carry them with you, as you incorporate new experiences with the treasured ones. Talk about this stuff with someone with the time to listen. Your loved one will always want to be remembered, and they should, but at the same time, they would also want you to live your life with this memory.

This commentary in this blog is intended to be general in nature. It is just some observations from one fellow traveller in life to another. If anything in this blog raises issues for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or consult with a trusted medical professional.

 Photo by Kara Eads on Unsplash



Trevor Hayley
Servicing Greater Adelaide and Regional South Australia

Phone: 0409 107 372


ABN 73 737 609 724

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