Personal Development

Dealing with Grief: The Never-Ending Road to Recovery – Holiday Check-in

As you all might know already, my family has been dealing with grief for about 3 years since the passing of my uncle. Grief comes in waves. We have good days and some not so great days. Each day that passes, we draw ourselves nearer to a new normal.

One person that my uncle’s passing really effected was my grandmother. Orlando was her first born son. Her first child.

Each holiday that passes definitely does not get any easier. My uncle was a Christmas junkie. He loved everything Christmas.

You can read more about my uncle’s love for Christmas here.

I’ve previously mentioned that my grandma is huge into crafting and decorating. Her love for the arts has really helped her on the road to recovery in dealing with grief. Every year for Christmas and Easter she decorates her church.

This year she decided to go all out with her decorations. She handmade 99% of her decorations AND stuck to her tight budget to create these immaculate decorations! Talk about a #bosslady.

Since I don’t live in the same state as her anymore, I got daily phone calls, texts, and picture messages with the progress of each of her creations.

You honestly won’t even believe the finished product because it all looks so amazing!

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are used and you can read my full disclosure here.

Road to Recovery: Church Christmas Decorations

So my grandma was hung up on making sure she had a fireplace included in her design somewhere. She initially came up with building her own out of cardboard.

She couldn’t really do much of the constructing so she got my uncle and grandfather to build it for her.

Grandma called and asked me to get her some contact paper that looked like bricks so that she could attach it to the outside of the body of the fireplace.

My grandma is fairly tech savvy with her fancy iPad that she got for her birthday. So she sent me a message with the exact product that she wanted and all I did was purchase it for her. Easy peasy!

Handmade cardboard fireplace

Dealing with grief - fireplace made out of cardboard decorated with artificial spruce garland

This is what the fireplace started to look like. She needed to get more contact paper so I got it and she finished it up to look like this.

Cardboard fireplace decorated with lights and artificial spruce garland and wreath with red and gold ornaments

This looks like it could be a fully functioning fireplace!!! Even the fire looks real! She also made that with some spray paint, paper, and foam I believe.

As you can see there are were done cute lanterns on the first image of the fireplace. My grandma found those in a thrift store and just spruced them up with some bows, sequins and fake candles.

lanterns decorated with red, green and white mesh bows with a lit fake candle

Wait until you see the finished product!

Dealing with grief - two men cleaning up with christmas decorations in the background
The man all the way on the right is my grandfather

Hello Christmas!!! She included not one, but two Christmas trees in her design! I’m so glad that she stuck with the fireplace because it looks amazing!

She also had a few other small details that really helped tie the whole place together.

Christmas wreath decorated in red and gold

These are wreaths that she tries to put up every year. They all include battery operated led mini lights to prevent tripping on cords, mesh bows, and a few ornaments that I think are recycled.

These wonderful wreaths line the walls running down the church.

dealing with grief - white piano surrounded by christmas decorations

The piano is decorated with poinsettia and handmade snowy pinecone decorated bows, sequins, and artificial spruce garland.

There is gift box that was completely wrapper and decorated by my grandma with a big ribbon bow and ornament accents. Which is pictured below. There is also a giant ball ornament.

red shiny christmas gift

Next up, my grandma made tall paper mache topiaries as decorations for when you enter the sanctuary.

dealing with grief - green, white, and gold balls stacked up high

She had made and hand painted each of the layers that were not ornaments and reused the stands that she used in her Palm Sunday decorations.

red and gold balls stacked up
Christmas in July

Dealing with grief: Church Christmas Decorations

dealing with grief - woman in the middle of a church
Hey grandma!
woman in the middle of church decorated for christmas
dealing with grief - church pulpit in christmas decorations
Lord's table with red poinsettia plants
Lord’s table

As a whole, the entire space is decked out in Christmas spirit. There are so many details that I missed and I sure hope to sit down with my grandma next week to truly get all of the details from her.

I believe that she did a great job. She has been working on these decorations since the summer and it has been a huge aid in dealing with grief for her.

When she is feeling down and out about missing my uncle, she starts looking up YouTube videos of different decorations ideas that she might want to try or goes into her craft room to start thinking of her next project.

I got my creativity for her and in a way, I started my blog as a way of dealing with grief. Creativity runs in my family 🤷🏽‍♀️

If you liked what you see or have any questions on the products that she used, please leave a comment below and I will be sure to message along to get the answers you need. Please also let her know that she is doing a great job!

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