Tips on How to Cope with Grief During the Holidays
The holidays are a special time of year where family and friends come together in celebration and tradition. It can also be a poignant reminder of a loved one who has passed away. Memories of those we have lost can create a mixture of joy and sorrow, which can often be overwhelming during this time of year. And, if this is the first holiday without your loved one, it may be even more difficult.
Often we find ourselves going through the motions of the holiday celebrations just to get through it and avoid the emotions that might come forth. Other times, we might decide it is just too painful and avoid any festivities altogether. The holidays can also be a time of hope, offering us opportunities and tools to heal from our loss.
If you are experiencing a time of sadness, below are some simple tips on coping with grief during this holiday season.
- Positive memories can be triggered by the smells and tastes of our holiday traditions. Think about embracing holiday meals with family and friends, as a way of sharing memories and traditions of loved ones. Cooking, baking and sharing family recipes can also be a beautiful way of linking children and grandchildren to loved ones who are no longer here.
- Lighting a candle can provide a feeling of warmth and evoke memories of your loved one – the light can be a symbol of their lasting presence during this time.
- Try not to isolate yourself. Surrounding yourself with others who share in your grief or those who want to listen can bring comfort.
- Attend a memorial service, program or bereavement group.
- Give yourself permission to feel some pain, as well as the joy that will come. Remember that your loved one would want you to continue to live and experience the happiness that you always shared this time of year.
However you choose to spend your time this holiday season, Ascend Hospice’s bereavement team is here to support you and your family by helping you deal with your grief. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 866.821.1212 – we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.