Braving the Holidays
For someone grieving the loss of a loved one, planning time for the holidays can be difficult and overwhelming. We have provided several tips for those grieving to help make the holidays go smoothly. Our hope is for you to use these tips for yourself during your personal grieving journey, or to help patients’ loved ones survive the holidays.
The best thing is to be prepared. Special days may or may not be associated with one of the traditional days of celebration. Start planning early for the holidays following a loss and develop coping strategies. It’s important to have open conversation within the family / support system about what is needed. There’s no right or wrong way of handling the holidays.
No one experiences grief the same way. It’s crucial to express any feelings that arise. People shouldn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed about their feelings, what they want, or if they need help or space during this time. It is okay to make changes to old traditions, and to just do what feels right.
Find ways to honor the memory of loved ones by recognizing their presence in the family. This can be done in any way that is found to be meaningful. Some examples are: burn a special candle, hang a stocking and fill it with notes, listen to music, look at photos, or anything that holds special meaning.
The best thing you can do to support someone who is grieving during the holidays is to hush, hug, and hang around. Especially when you don’t know what to say. Just be present and available for them.
Self-care is key no matter where someone is during their grieving process. Striving for a balanced lifestyle can be achieved by not overindulging, getting enough rest, exercising, and relaxing.
With these tips, those grieving can be well prepared for the holidays. Just because our loved ones are gone from our sight and touch, doesn’t mean they are gone from our minds and our hearts. We can still honor them this holiday season.