Dealing with Grief During the Holidays
Written by: Mary Fitzgerald, MHC
The holidays can be, and usually are, a stressful time. Expectations are very high for the perfect in everything. We want to have the perfect tree; the perfect decorations; perfect meals; give the perfect gift.
So, when this is compounded by grief there is a chance that we are setting ourselves up for a huge crash, maybe even wish that we could skip the holidays all together. Allow yourself to feel sad, to cry. Feel what you feel, but try to find the joy too.
It is common for the feelings of loss and grief to increase during the holiday season. Getting through the first few holidays can be very difficult.
Prepare for them. People will say that the first year is the hardest and for some it is, but it can also be the second or third. Everyone is different.
Let your family and friends know what you need from them. Do you want to talk about the person that is missing or not. Do you want to continue with your traditions or start new ones?
Figure out how and if you choose to acknowledge your loss and who you want to share it with. There may be people in your group of friends or family that will not understand what you are feeling or that you are not “over” your feelings of sadness and loss, but that is okay. Not everyone will understand.
Be gentle with yourself, be kind to yourself, and allow yourself to feel what you feel: cry, laugh and gently move on.