Coping with Grief During the Holidays
The death of a loved one can be very emotional, and during the holiday season, the feelings of loss can be overwhelming. Everyone processes grief on their own time, and it can look different for every individual. There is no timeline to grief and loss. These suggestions may help during this difficult time when spending time with family and friends are often the focal point.
Activities to Help Cope During the Holidays
The following activities will help you keep your loved one part of a special occasion:
Holiday Action Plan
1. Consider actions you can take to make your holiday more enjoyable. This “action” may be related to financial concerns, feelings of loss, loneliness, family conflict, time pressures, etc.
A Holiday Poem for those who Grief
By Michael Vujovich
Go peacefully amid the Christmas craziness and rushing, and remember that you do not have to participate at anyone else’s pace but your own.
As far as possible, without giving away a piece of who you are, be on good terms with those who matter to you.
Speak of your grief quietly and clearly and whenever you feel like it. Allow others to listen to you and tell your story again and again.
Stay away from those who drain you and be with those who give you a sense of peace.
If you compare your grief with the grief of others you may become faltering and discouraged for there will always be people in different stages of grief. Know that YOU are where YOU need to be for YOU.
Enjoy your small steps of success along the path of grief. You have worked hard to attain each one.
Keep interested in your own plans and your own life.
Exercise caution in activities and traditions. Take care of yourself and be good to yourself. Set time limits on outings and events. Accomplish a few things and then rest. You heroically survived a death, you can heroically survive the holiday.
Be yourself. Cry when you feel like crying. Talk about your loved one when you are so moved. If “the world” can’t handle a name or a memory, then the world will have to learn … as you are learning. Don’t be bitter when someone talks of love. Love is still a rare and precious gift.
Listen, if you are able, to those of us who are farther down the road in our grief. We walked where you are now walking. We remember that searing intense pain. It has gotten better for us. It will get better for you as well.
Nurture yourself. Take a break from all the “why’s” and “what if’s”.
Fatigue and loneliness are not your friends. Reach for peacefulness and some time alone.
Be gentle with yourself. You are a survivor of the death of a loved one. You can survive anything.
Therefore, be at peace with yourself and with your God, whoever you believe God is. In the noisy confusion of the holiday season strive to be at peace with yourself. In spite of all that you have faced, it is still a beautiful world.