Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One Over the Holidays
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is always difficult, but the grief seems to heighten during the holiday season. Everyone around you appears joyous and is reveling in the holiday festivities, while you are still trying to cope with your loss.
Although we can’t take the pain away, here are some tactics that might help get you through the season and alleviate some of the stress that can come with the holidays.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If gift shopping is too much for you to think about, ask someone to either go with you, or pick out a few gifts for you.
- Do something to honor your loved one. Whether it’s lighting a candle or volunteering at a place that was special to your loved one, it will help you to acknowledge that person. This might even be the time to start a new tradition; make the same pancakes your mom loved to make for you on Christmas morning.
- Don’t feel obligated to participate in all festivities. If it’s going to consume your energy to send out 100 holiday cards or make cookies for the neighbors, then don’t do it. Choose which tasks you’ll take on. Or you might want to modify some. For instance, send in store-bought cookies instead of homemade to your child’s school function.
- Surround yourself with people who support you. Be with people who understand that you may need to cry or talk about your loved one. Avoid people who might not be comfortable with those situations.
- Allow yourself some joy. Don’t be afraid to laugh at a TV show or attend a friend’s New Year’s Eve party if the company is what you need. You shouldn’t feel guilty to seek the things that will give you some relief.
Remember, we are here for you. Pathways has a number of grief and loss programs and workshops to guide you through the healing process of losing a loved one. You can check our list of services here to look for one that might help you.