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12 Holiday Grief Management Options

Posted on November 19, 2015

1. Accept that there will be pain during the holiday seasons. Remember that your pain indicates the closeness of the relationship. Can you name what you miss about your loved one and write him/her a holiday letter or poem?

2. Go ahead and feel what you feel. Although others may suggest how you should feel, this is the time to affirm your own feelings. It may include sadness, depression, anxiety, fear, or anger. Do you have a plan for support if you become overwhelmed during a holiday celebration? Decide on a signal with a family member or a friend.

3. Find a way to express your emotions with friends, with crafts, or art. This may be a time to try journaling, a support group, use music, or work on a hands-on project. Find what helps you to express your grief. 

4. Customize the holidays this year. How about a special light or candle, a time to toast your loved one, a meal with a favorite dish appreciated by your loved one, a collage of photos, or a memory trip somewhere with your family. 

5. It is time to feel some control by taking charge when you can. Because death is often out of our control, it’s important to make decisions that give you a feeling of some control. Plan to get a gift in their memory or share your loved one’s special things.

6. This is the time to gather with your support system and to reach out to them. Although traditions in family may pull you in one direction, find those who are supportive and seek support for the holidays. Take time to share stories about your loved one’s participation in holiday events and ask for stories in return. 

7. Be caring and accepting of yourself. It may be easier to be gentle with others during this time than yourself, but it’s important to remember to care for your whole self. Try small meals and avoid sugar. Take time to exercise, relax, and deal with your emotions. Ask for help to deal with the spiritual and relationship changes.

8. Take the time to remember and talk about your loved one. Take time to affirm the importance of the one who has who has died. Make a journal of your life together to share with your family this holiday season. 

9. Find the good in life and count your blessings. During this time of grief and pain, it is most important to “count your blessings” and see the good in life. Stay in the good moments. Let children into your life to express the joys of knowing your loved one.

10. Find something to give or help others. It feels good to help others and affirm others in your life. Be intentional about being thankful and reaching out to others. Volunteer, donate, or give gifts of self or in memory of your loved one. Wrap a favorite keepsake of your loved one to share with others. 

11. Let your inner being express your desires. The inner part of yourself is seeking purpose and meaning in life without your loved one. This may be the time to consider what can give yourself a new reason to live, to share the gifts which have been enhanced by your loved one.

12. Give hope a chance. Where can you find that ray of sunshine that moves you through pain to hope? You might decorate a star and write on it your hopes and dreams for the future.

Ideas gleaned from James E. Miller’s, How Will I Get Through The Holidays?

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  1. Jan Woodman | Nov 19, 2015
    THANK YOU!!!

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