At this time of year, as I continue to keep abreast of all that is written on grief and loss, the focus is on “getting through” the holidays after the loss of a loved one. Getting through and surviving imply, to me, that we have to tough them out, cope and disconnect from our feelings which, often times, is what holds us back from moving forward in the first place. Holidays are stressful times without loss, so be kind to yourself and let go of your expectations. Life is not the same and neither are you.
What if you actually did express what you were feeling? Would everyone run the other way? Perhaps. Are you focusing on not ruining everyone else’s holidays despite what you’re feeling? Wearing that mask again?
Here are some suggestions you might consider as the holidays approach:
- DO NOT be alone
- Plan ahead
- Volunteer at a local food bank
- Take a trip with a friend (be sure to read the reviews)
- Have the holidays at your house
- Talk about your loved, a lot! (others will get used to it and may even join in)
- Ask family and friends about funny times they remember with your loved one
- Cry if you feel like crying
- Have a pot luck with others who have lost a loved one
- Excuse yourself and take a breather if you need
- Hold on to old traditions
- Develop a new tradition
- Do something symbolic: Light a candle in remembrance
- Look for the small joys
- Get rest!
Remember that others may be grieving your loss too, in their own way.
If the holidays are overwhelming you, let’s set a time to talk http://www.vcita.com/v/fa494567/online_scheduling