Celebrating the 4th of July

Monday is the 4th of July, a time for parades, barbeques, picnics and fireworks. For many people this means traveling. For some just a short distance, for others longer road time. All the hustle and bustle can mean increased pressure, a faster pace, and crowding many activities into short time spans. In other words, more anxiety.

The Deadliest Days

The local freeway has already seen a number of fatal automotive accidents. We are, after all, in the 100 deadliest days on America’s roads. And the 4th is one of the 2 worst, in terms of fatal accidents. But should that stop us from enjoying the holiday?

Celebrating our nation’s history and spending time with family and friends for this summertime festival is a wonderful bonding tradition from one generation to the next, but it can be difficult for some folks.

Difficulty Celebrating

Those who look around the cheerful crowds and are painfully aware of the absence of a loved one may struggle to engage. If the loss is related to travel or cars, or to guns, then the noise, crowds, and excitement of fireworks displays may be overwhelming.

If attending the parade is too much closeness, the picnic too familiar in view of your loss, or the fireworks too jarring, maybe watching fireworks on television would be more comfortable. Maybe hot dogs on the Bar-B in the backyard with just a few people would feel right.

Celebrate Your Way

If you’ve experienced a traumatic loss that makes the 4th of July difficult this year for full participation, remember that although your reaction to the holiday may be quite different from the way others react, it is completely normal. Give yourself permission to heal in your own time and in your own way. July 4th is a day to celebrate freedom. Be sure to give yourself the freedom to honor your deepest feelings and celebrate in a way that makes you comfortable. Take the time you need to enjoy the holiday in a way that is meaningful for you.