I wore my mom’s slippers yesterday. I hadn’t known then what it would mean when I packed them up after her death a couple years ago. But these tattered blue scuffs have become very dear to me because wearing them instantly connects us every time. There’s something about slipping my feet into something she slipped her feet into that feels extremely personal. I love that and can’t help smiling every single time. 
For lots of people, this jolly time of year isn’t so jolly. It’s not all about smiling faces, warm fuzzy feelings, or TV images of friends clinking glasses with cheer. For them, this time of year is painful because of a loss they experienced some time this past year. “First times” are very hard, especially when that first time involves HoHo Santas everywhere. Being engulfed by the media message of endless happiness all around feels like salt in their wound.  
Unfortunately, there is no choice. There’s really no way around coping with all the losses in life.  And it isn’t always about death; there are many things that we develop a deep attachment to over the years— our health, our independence, a great job or house, a meaningful relationship, a pet or even a dream. Most major changes in life carry with them the feeling of loss… of the way it used to be. The profound sadness mellows in time, but the memory of “then”sometime looms like it was yesterday.
Maybe you or someone you know has been down lately, and you might not even realize exactly why. Showing a friend who seems sad that you understand, offering them words of comfort, might help you and them through the season better. The change that a major loss brings can be devastating so it’s important to comfort yourself when you’re walking through the grief.