After funerals at funeral homes in Van Buren, NY, people who have lost people they love are expected to bounce back quickly and jump right back into the normal routine of things as if nothing traumatic happened to them.
When your loved one dies, it is traumatic. No matter how hard you may try to get back into a normal groove or how hard you may try to put your grief over their loss on a shelf when you’re among other people, the reality is that grief always wins.
Grief is, as the saying goes, the price you pay for love. Grief is normal. The grieving process is normal, no matter how it unfolds or how long it takes for healing and starting to move forward without your loved one in your life.
Whether you have been grieving for 10 months or 10 days, grief always get more intense around the holidays. You are acutely aware of your loved one’s absence when the traditions you had no longer include them. Perhaps even the thought of carrying on old traditions makes you even sadder.
Here are some tips that may be able to help you get through the holidays, not without your grief, but using your grief to guide what you do and don’t do and to find ways to remember your loved one who is gone.
One tip is to be aware of how you’re feeling and let that guide what you do and don’t do during the holidays. There are often a lot of celebrations and parties around the holiday season. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, some families are still trying to safely celebrate the holidays together.
This year, for example, there may be more smaller holiday gatherings that you are invited to. It’s important to give yourself permission to say, “No,” if going will make things harder for you emotionally. While your family and friends may not understand why you choose not to attend, make sure that they know you are making the best choices for your health and healing.
Another tip is to create new holiday traditions. For example, you might consider volunteering your time at a charity that was special to your loved one or you might participate in an event in memory of your loved one.
As you integrate new holiday traditions, they help you heal, while still honoring the memory of your loved one and acknowledging that you still love and miss them.
Another tip for getting through the holiday season is to do something nice for yourself. Perhaps your loved one had a long illness that kept you from traveling, even on nature drives or short day trips to a favorite place.
If there’s a special place you’d like to go, find a way to get there. Once you’re there, if you plan to stay for a few days, find a nice place to stay and do something extra special (that you might not usually do) while you’re there.
A final tip for the holidays is not to shut out your family and friends. While you may not be in the mood for lights, sounds, festivities, and larger groups of people, you should seek out the company, perhaps one-on-one or in very small (two or three) groups, of the people who love and care about you the most.
You may be surprised at the feelings and emotions you share with them and you will definitely get a boost from the comfort and support you can give each other.