The holidays can be stressful. Throw grief in the mix, and it can make the holidays a stressful and depressing time.
No simple guidelines exist that will take away the hurt and feelings of grief, but we wanted to share a few tips to help blend mourning your loved one and celebrating during the holiday season.
1.It’s OK to cry. Crying is a part of grieving, and it helps you to express your feelings. Crying while grieving is healthy and natural.
2.Understand that loss to each person is different based on the type of relationship they had with the deceased. Allow different members of your family to grieve in their way.
3.Communicate lovingly about what you are experiencing emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally and what support looks like to you.
4.Allow joy to blend with grief. Understand that laughter and fun are not betrayal, and they do not in any way equate to forgetting your loved one. Just as you allow yourself to cry, also allow yourself to laugh.
5.Take care of yourself. Self-care is very important during this season of the year, so give yourself time to rest. Grieving is physically exhausting, so allow for some down time. For example, treat yourself to a movie, get a massage or anything that just feels right for your soul to heal.
6.Honor the love that you have for your lost loved one by doing something nice for others. Sometimes by making someone else’s day, you give yourself a gift of feeling better, too. Visit a nursing home, volunteer at a food pantry or bake cookies for your neighbors.
7.Honor your loved one in an outward way. For example, light a candle for them on the dining table, hang their stocking in remembrance, create a special ornament on the tree for them.
8.Allow yourself to express your feelings. Meet with a family member or friend to share your feelings about your loss. Try writing your loved one a message.
9.It’s OK to reminisce about past holidays with your loved one but open yourself to brand new traditions. Start a new family tradition, like ordering take out for Christmas Dinner or treating the family to a movie on Christmas Day.
10.Attend a Holiday Remembrance Ceremony to honor your loved one.
11.Say your loved ones name out loud. This is an outward expression of love and honor for your loved one.
12.Get rid of extra stress. Don’t do more than you want, and don’t do anything that does not serve your soul and your loss.