Dealing With Loss During the Holidays

 

The holidays are supposed to be a time filled with joy and happy memories with family and close friends. However, if you’ve lost someone close to you this` year, it can be extremely difficult to imagine a holiday without them. Suddenly, all your holiday traditions become tainted with sadness and grief; An empty chair at Christmas dinner, an empty stocking hung by the chimney with care and Christmas carols that sound just a little less joyful. The grieving process becomes that much more difficult during the holiday season. The emotions can be overwhelming and hard to bear at times. If you’re coping with a loss during the holidays, we have some methods to help get you through.

 

Create New Traditions

The special thing about traditions is that they’re done year after year, often with the same people. Your traditions this year may not be the same, but it’s the perfect time to start new traditions that can be cherished for years to come! Perhaps it could include lighting a candle of remembrance at the dinner table, visiting your loved one’s favorite holiday light display, singing their favorite carols, or watching their favorite movie. No matter what you choose, it’ll be a sentimental tradition that will help their memory live on always during the holiday season.

 

Switch up Your Celebrations

While you can create new traditions, it can also help to switch things up and do things completely different for the holidays this year to avoid that empty feeling. If sitting at home for dinner with an empty chair sparks painful memories, maybe you choose to go out to dinner this year instead. Or, maybe you choose to skip the holidays at home this year, and go on a special family vacation instead!

 

Communicate Your Feelings

It’s important to give yourself grace and remember that it’s okay to feel your feelings. It’s equally as important to communicate those feelings to family and friends, so they can be empathetic, as everyone grieves differently. For example, they may want to watch old home movies with your loved one, but that could trigger you. Be honest about how you’re feeling, and know that it’s okay to opt-out of activities that will be too painful for you.

 

Give Back

Lastly, the holidays are always a great time to get involved in charitable organizations! There are so many families in need during the holiday season and what better way to use your energies than to help someone else? It can help to fill that void and make you feel a sense of fulfillment during your time of grieving, especially if you choose a charity that’s in memory of your loved one.

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