Loss of loved ones has been with us since the dawn of time. Yet the study of how people manage grief is a relatively new science. We’ve come a long way from the time when the stages of grief were introduced in 1969.
Living with grief around the holidays can be particularly challenging. It can bring up new feelings that you thought had passed months ago.
There are clear ways to get through the holidays and beyond. Let’s explore 4 powerful techniques.
1) Don’t Hide It
After you’ve made arrangements, you may want to shut yourself away and skip the celebrations this year. However, isolation is never a good way of living with grief.
Know that grieving may start before the person is gone — when they’re sick and not getting better. You may need a shoulder to cry on. Find one.
Talk with people who are loving and respectful. Share your concerns regarding the holidays or other events.
If you’re not “feeling the holiday spirit” this year, that’s normal. Those who love you will understand that.
2) Start a Family Tradition in Honor
When you’ve just lost someone who is very close to you, it hurts. Those around you know it.
They may be walking on eggshells trying not to mention anything that reminds you of the one you just lost.
This often causes tension and even discord around the holidays. Instead, start a new tradition to honor your loved one. Set out a dinner plate for them or have a remembering ceremony with family around the fire.
Let people know it’s okay to talk about the person. In most cases, it’ll help you feel better.
3) Cut Celebrations Short
Know that it’s okay to leave an event early. You might even let people know up front that you’re only staying for a certain amount of hours. This way they won’t feel compelled to stop you when it’s time to go.
This year may not be the year that you stay up for hours playing with the grandkids. A little rest after a shorter event may do you some good.
4) Volunteer in Your Loved One’s Name
One of the best things you can do while living with grief is to give to others less fortunate than yourself.
Schedule some days to work in the local soup kitchen or donate some time to a charity that your loved one was passionate about.
Make this a dedication in their honor.
Avoid making large charitable donations during this time. Those are normally best when reserved for later. Give yourself time for some thought about where you might be able to do the most good.
Living with Grief
Grief hurts in a very real and physical way. It can put a cloud over everything you do. At a time of year when joy is celebrated, this dynamic can be particularly uncomfortable.
We hope these techniques will help you make it through the holidays and beyond.
If you need to make arrangements for a loved one, please give us a call.
As a private and family-owned funeral provider, Mile High Mortuary & Cremation Service offers traditional funeral and cremation services with over 30 years experience in assisting families during their time of need.