How to cope with grief during the holidays


Grieving the loss of a loved one can be especially difficult during the holiday season.

Festive decorations and holiday parties can create painful reminders of loss.

There is no right or wrong way to handle the holiday season after a loss. There are a number of ways you can deal with grief during the holiday season. Eventually, the holidays will get easier, but only if you allow yourself to time to grieve.

Find unique ways to honor your loved one and incorporate their memory into the holidays.

Your sense of loss can be magnified during family gatherings, holiday traditions and meaningful events.

Do not feel that you have to force yourself to face every event or tradition, so be willing to say no.

Familiar traditions may be comforting, but it is important to acknowledge that the holidays will not be the same after a loss. Some find comfort in new experiences, a change in location for family celebrations or a new menu.

New activities can also bring about a sense of ease, and scaling back holiday plans may be beneficial as well.

During a holiday dinner, place a lighted candle on the dinner table, leave an empty chair or say a few words of remembrance.

Gift-giving can be challenging as you grieve the loss of a loved one. Consider alternate options to coping with grief. According to the AARP, in times of loss we often want to do something that will make a difference.

Consider making a donation in a loved one’s name to a charity or cause that he or she cherished. Volunteer your time to help someone else.

Limit holiday parties to small gatherings with those closest to you, and don’t hesitate to scale back your usual holiday activities. Less decorations, greeting cards or events will give you a break from the added stress at this time of year.

Hearthstone Communities : 920 North Seminary Avenue, Woodstock, IL 60098 : 815.338.2110 : www.hearthstonewoodstock.org


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