How do you handle grief during the holidays?
Holidays are clearly some of the roughest days to navigate after a loss. But holidays are a part of the grieving journey. And let’s not forget children who will be celebrating the holidays while missing a loved one for the first time.
How to develop a strategy that can assist you through the holidays:
- Acknowledge that the holidays will be different, and they will be tough.
- Remember that not everyone will be grieving the same way you are grieving.
- Concerning traditions; decide which traditions to keep and which ones to change and how to create new ones.
- Decide where you want to spend the holidays.
- Remember that the ways others will want to spend the holidays may not match how you want to spend the holidays.
- Be honest. Tell people what you want to do and not do for the holidays.
- Don’t feel guilty about skipping events.
- Don’t get trapped. When you go to holiday events, drive yourself so you can leave if it gets to be too much.
- Don’t send holiday cards this year if it is too sad or overwhelming.
- Talk to your children about the holidays, it can be confusing for them that the holidays can be both happy and sad after a death. Let them know it is okay to enjoy the holidays, and it is okay to be sad.
- Make a memorial ornament or wreath, or other decoration in honor of your loved one.
- Play your loved one’s favorite holiday music.
- Make their favorite holiday treat.
- Volunteer in your loved one’s memory.
- Donate a holiday meal to a family in need.
- Make a list and check it twice. When you have a lot going on at the holidays, make a list and write things on a calendar.
- Enjoy the holidays. This time of year will be tough, but there will also be love and joy.
Remember, it is okay to be happy. Being happy does not diminish how much you love and miss the person who isn’t there this holiday. Do not feel guilt for the joy you do find this holiday season.
We would like to invite you to “Surviving the Holidays” on Saturday, November 7, 9:00 – 11:00am at the Prior Lake Campus of Friendship Church. You will be given tools that will enable you not only to survive the coming holidays, but also to face them with a measure of peace and assurance.
Check the website for more information and to register.