Deciding the location.
Planning the menu.
No, I’m not talking about my Women’s Conference. I’m talking about Thanksgiving Dinner! I love the holidays and the time that I get to spend with my family. While I’m sure my oldest son does as well, his strategizing seems to be more focused on the best way to pile all of the food on his plate! LOL
A lot of people really enjoy the holiday season. The meaning of the season. The decorations. The food. The time spent with loved ones.
But if you look around, not everyone is enjoying this time of year. You may notice that some people look sad. You may even notice there are some people that you haven’t seen or heard from in a while. This may be because the holiday season reminds them of a loved one that is no longer with them.
Holiday seasons can sometimes be difficult for people who have experienced a loss. Whether the loss was from last month or from ten years ago, the memory of that person stays with you. The reminder that the person is no longer here to celebrate the holidays may push a button that you thought was covered up and nicely healed.
Here are some tips to consider throughout this holiday season
--Allow yourself to feel. Feel what? Feel whatever you are experiencing in the moment. There is no such thing as “being done with grief”. Grief changes and evolves. It may initially be constant and painful. It will eventually transition into inconsistent discomfort and reminders, and then occasional pings. Allow yourself to feel without trying to talk yourself out of your feelings.
--Now that you’ve allowed your feelings, now you have to do something with them. You can…
Talk to a friend about missing your loved one. Discuss favorite memories, things your loved one used to say or do, or even look at pictures together.
Write a letter to your loved one, expressing your feelings, thoughts and memories. Put the letter in a safe place when you are done.
Practice self-care with prayer, music, exercise, and time spent with close friends/family.
Make an appointment with a therapist to work through your grief and loss, while learning ways to take care of yourself.
Make a decision about how you would like the holidays to look. Perhaps you take comfort in following the same traditions that you shared with your loved one. Or you may choose to create a new/additional tradition to promote healing.
--Last but not least, if you think someone you know is having a hard time right now because they are missing a loved one, seek them out. Try to offer them support and love and a listening ear. Make supportive statements that validates their current feelings and doesn’t judge how they choose to express them. Ask your friend how they would like to spend this holiday season and support their decision. Be your Sister’s Keeper.