Surviving Grief Through the Holidays
Emotions and memories are on overload during holiday seasons on a good year, but are especially fragile when it is the first few holidays without your loved one. Of course, it will never be the same without them. It helps to concentrate on the precious memories you’ve shared. Though there is no easy way to get through and impossible to promise no pain, here are some thoughts that have helped others. Pick and choose what seems right for you:
*Keep everything simple. Even if you are used to a full slate of decorating, shopping, entertaining and baking, this year will be different. Grieving takes a lot of energy
*Warn friends and family that you may not have the strength or emotion to join in on everything this year
*Choose wisely what is most important to you. Scale down your lists to compensate for your limited energy
*Decide which traditions to keep this year and what will be too painful
*Get a gift you know your loved one would like and find someone in need to give it to in their honor
*Put a photo of your loved one in an ornament to place on your Christmas tree
*Send out Christmas cards to friends and family with something written about your loved one. It will help you and them
*Pick out something that belonged to your loved one to give as a cherished gift to someone who loved them
*Family Gatherings are a good time for each family to share a favorite Christmas or other memory about your loved one. Make sure to involve the children
*Be gentle with yourself and others during the holidays. Acknowledge that you are recovering from deep loss and that others who had a relationship with your loved one are, too. Realize they are grieving differently than you. It helps to remind others who think they are giving you advice that you are grieving in your own way
*Keep reaching out to God for help. He has the desire and ability to help you more than anyone else. He is patient through our anger, doubts and questions. That’s why He sent Jesus to live as one of us, to die for our sin and to overcome death so we could have eternal life
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”Psalm 147:3
For more help for getting through grief, go to Grieve With Hope page.
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These books will be available at the Surviving Grief Through the Holiday sessions.