Because the holiday season is a time of family togetherness, it can be an excruciatingly difficult time for someone who is mourning a deceased family member. Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah celebrations can ring a bit hollow in the absence of that special person who is no longer there to share these kinds of events. However, despite the sadness you may currently feel it is possible to find your way to peace during the Holiday season, even if your loss still feels fresh. We’ve put together a few tips that will help you
- Express your needs: People who are grieving often find it difficult to participate in common holiday activities. If you are not quite up to celebrating let others around you know this.
- Don’t try to ignore the person’s absence: Be honest about your feelings and perhaps share memories of the deceased with others in your support group. Recalling the life of the loved one is a chance to celebrate that person’s life and not just mourn their passing.
- Give yourself time: The mourning process is not tied to a clock. People grieve for different periods of time depending on the strength of the bond.
- Start a new holiday tradition: If your experience with the deceased involved a special holiday tradition then be open to beginning a new one. Do volunteer work, make a charitable donation in that person’s name or select a memorial tree markers or engraved tree plaques in your loved one’s name.
- Reconnect with a counselor or bereavement support group: If you were aided by professional counselors during your initial loss don’t hesitate to reach out to them now. Professional counselors understand that the holidays are an especially difficult time for someone who has experienced a death in the family.
- Indulge in the rituals and ceremonies of your faith/culture: Religious or spiritual beliefs can be of great help to people of faith. Talk to others of your faith about your feelings including a priest, rabbi, etc.
Yes, the holidays are a tough time for those who are in mourning. It is hard to watch others enjoy themselves in the midst of pain that may still be with you following the death of a loved one. However, time will heal eventually and the memory of the joy the deceased brought you will eventually outgrow the grief you feel at their loss.