Coping with Grief During the Holidays

We have all gone through the pain of losing a loved one. It is a life event that is inevitable and stays with us every day. The holidays often bring added stress and hardship for those that are grieving. Whether it be the loss of a family member, or the ending of a relationship. It might even be the anticipated grief, knowing that the days are short for someone close to us. In any case it becomes a challenge and becomes hard to push through during the holiday season.

There are many suggestions out there for coping with grief and loss around this time of year.

Talk about it- Spend time with people who understand or are going through the same thing that you are going through. It isn’t the time to be stoic, don’t keep your feelings inside or let them build up. That isn’t healthy for you or others around you.

Do something different- Find a new project or responsibility to keep your mind busy. Throw a holiday party, gather a group of people to help out at a soup kitchen or switch up your yearly traditions and have Christmas Eve at someone else house. Sometimes the change of scenery and activities can help divert the grieving process.

Be kind to yourself, let yourself feel happiness- Even in the darkest of times, there are things that still manage to make us smile. It could be a song on the radio, laughing with a friend or a favorite memory of a lost oved one. These things can be powerful enough to bring you momentary happiness and put a smile on your face.

Share memories- Sharing memories or stories of our lost loved ones can be great for the grieving process around the holidays. It allows us to remember the good times with them and not dwell on them being gone. Gather around with your family and share the story of when Uncle Billy lost his false teeth in the punch bowl, or when Grandma put the Tupperware in the oven- keep their memories alive!

We all need to remember that grief is not an orderly process, and there isn’t a right or wrong way to grieve. Every person and family does it differently. Be kind to yourself and do your best to take it one day at a time.

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