Coping with Grief & Loss Over the Holidays

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Photo Credit: Gabriel Schouten de Jel

While the holidays are a time of celebration and excitement, they can also bring about feelings of sadness as we feel the absence of those we have lost.  Here are some things to consider as you cope with grief and loss this holiday season:

  1. Keep things simple; eliminate unnecessary stress; don’t expect yourself to do all you might have done from past holidays.  Allow yourself some time and self-care and communicate with your loved ones your intentions.
  2. Find a way to honor the life of your loved one.
  3. Spend time sharing stories of your loved one; take time to process your feelings around this loss.
  4. Create new traditions. This could be as simple as lighting a candle or donating a gift in that person’s memory or a more involved project like a memory box, preparing that person’s favorite meal, or a quilt.
  5. Nurture those relationships that are most meaningful to you.
  6. Find ways to share your time, talents, and skills.
  7. Allow yourself all the feelings of the holidays. Expect joy, sadness, love, laughter, and be generous with yourself.

There are resources to support those who might want professional support from individual counseling to bereavement support groups.  I found one online community that has articles, forums, community groups, and ways to create an online memorial for your loved one at www.hellogrief.org.  Please feel free to contact me if you would like referrals.  It is important to remember we all grieve in our own ways and there is no right or wrong way. Most important is to remember to take care of you during this time.

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