As 2017 draws to a close and the holidays are upon us, many of us who have suffered the loss of a loved one recently will find it challenging to engage in the celebrations around us.
These celebrations can leave us struggling to know what to say or do, and how to engage in traditions that involved our deceased loved one. While this will feel unnatural, don’t run from your feelings of grief – lean into them. You may find the following suggestions from Grief.com helpful:
Ways to Externalize the Loss–Give It a Time and a Place
- A prayer before the holiday dinner about your loved one.
• Light a candle for your loved one.
• Create an online tribute for them.
• Share a favorite story about your loved one.
• Have everyone tell a funny story about your loved one.
• At your place of worship remember them in a prayer.
Grieving Do’s and Don’ts
- • Do be gentle with yourself and protect yourself.
• Don’t do more than you want, and don’t do anything that does not serve your soul and your loss.
• Do allow time for the feelings.
• Don’t keep feelings bottled up. If you have 500 tears to cry don’t stop at 250.
• Do allow others to help. We all need help at certain times in our lives.
• Don’t ask if you can help or should help a friend in grief. Just help. Find ways; invite them to group events or just out for coffee.
• Do, in grief, pay extra attention to the children. Children are too often the forgotten grievers.
Remember, there is no right or wrong way to handle the holidays in grief. You have to decide what’s right for you and do it. You have every right to change your mind, even a few times. Friends and family members may not have a clue how to help you through the holidays and you may not either. However, in time, most people can find meaning again in the traditions as a new form of the holiday spirit grows inside of them.
See more at http://www.grief.com/grief-the-holidays.