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How To Help Yourself through The Holidays When Mourning
Grief is the internal response to loss, sadness, grief, and seemingly endless pain. Mourning is all the things and more that are public and that you share with others. Grief is healthy. Grief without grief brings a lot of additional pain and unnecessary suffering, which often manifests itself intensely on vacation.
The “year of firsts”, the first Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, the first something without the loved one, are often made even worse when the bereaved do not affirm what they can and cannot do not do to each. of the first. Here are some considerations to help honor your loved one and yourself during these important times.
1. Let your family and/or friends know what you can and cannot do. As a primary mourner, make your needs known to all concerned. If necessary, gather everyone in your house well before the party, and say what you feel about how you want to celebrate this party. Discuss what can be added or removed from the usual celebration.
If the event was normally held in your home, you may want to eat outside, have someone else hold it this year, or have others take on more responsibility to take the load off your shoulders. It’s okay to say no, and as your pain changes over time, you may assume old responsibilities or make additional changes.
2. We don’t have to do it the way it was always done. Traditions can change, even if they are many years old. You can even start a new tradition. Whatever you feel will be the most difficult part of the holidays for you can be changed, held at another time, or left out for this year. Do what you think will reduce unnecessary stress and sadness. Anything left out of one year can always be brought back to the next. Let your faith be your guide, and use it for the strength it provides.
3. There is nothing wrong with reducing the time you spend on events. Regardless of what others are doing in your family, before any party or celebration, tell everyone concerned what your level of participation will be. Only you know what your energy level is like and what your resources can take without undue effort. Feel free to say that you will leave early, not participate in one or more aspects of the celebration, step outside, or come after the event.
4. Be sure to symbolically honor your deceased loved one. Make it a habit to recognize the memory of your loved one at every major family event. Light a candle, make a toast, show a photo or photo album, make the deceased’s favorite dessert or meal, say a prayer, show or give something he created, put a flower in a special place at the table, or leave one. space at the empty table (make everyone sit in different places). And, it’s okay if the tears flow. It’s normal, normal, normal.
Forget the perfect. The ideal or perfect holiday celebration rarely exists. Don’t settle for perfection. At the same time, refuse to let your anticipation tell you that the whole scene will be a major source of distress. Manage your anticipation diligently. Keep things simple and focus on your loved one’s values, beliefs, joy and wisdom. Give a gift from your loved one and remember that laughter and a smile are always important parts of life.
Finally, here are nine statements to help you develop a plan for holidays and celebrations. Advanced planning is essential. Fill in any open spaces. Write as much as you need.
My vacation plan
1. I believe that the most difficult part of the coming party will be: ___________________.
2. I think the most difficult people for me to be with would be: _____________________.
3. The most comforting thought of the coming holiday is: ______________________.
4. The people I believe will be the most useful for me are: ________________________.
5. The words I really need to hear this holiday season are: ________________________.
6. I will celebrate the memory of my beloved on this holiday from: _________________.
7. I will tell my family/friends what I can and cannot do on this holiday by: __________.
8. I will rearrange my participation in the festivities: __________________________.
9. To make my plan, the first thing I have to do is: _______________________.
Share your plan if and when appropriate. With everyone’s help and cooperation, you and all your family and friends can make it through the special days and celebrate a life that has been lived.
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