For many, the holidays are a fun time dedicated to spending time with family and friends. However, if you’ve experienced a recent loss, the holidays can feel overwhelming and triggering.
Coping with the grief that comes with loss is a daily struggle, and it can be especially taxing during the holidays. However, we firmly believe that there are ways to work through your grief while also finding ways to enjoy the holidays.
Here are five things that you can do to help during the holiday season after experiencing a loss.
1. A Momento of Your Loved One
Get yourself something that you can display in your home that will serve as a reminder or memento of your loved one. These sympathy gifts from Laurelbox provide a wonderful variety of items to choose from, ranging from candles and ornaments to mugs and tea towels. Get something that the individual would love, or something specific colors, flowers, or sayings that make you think of them.
2. Make a New Tradition
The holidays are all about traditions and establishing a new tradition in memory of your loved one who has passed will prove to be a beautiful way to remember and pay tribute to them. Consider what you can do to make the holidays a little brighter with a new tradition for your loved one that has passed.
The great thing about traditions is that there are very few rules. Just make it meaningful, manageable, and easy to do year after year. Perhaps you read their favorite book together as a family, prepare their favorite dish for dinner, or play a game that they loved.
3. A Graveside Visit
A visit to your loved one’s graveside is another beautiful way to help you cope with loss during the holidays. Some feel a great sense of peace and fulfillment visiting the grave, and if this is something that speaks to you, be sure to make a special visit during the holiday season.
Consider decorating their grave. Some holiday graveside floral arrangements and other small holiday decorations are a wonderful way to bring some joy to their grave and are sure to bring a smile to passers-by.
There is nothing wrong with scaling back and simplifying your holidays this year. If the crowds at stores and malls feel too crowded and overwhelming for you, do all of your shopping online. If the thought of putting all of your holiday decorations up feels like too much, do as much as you can and be done with it. Ask for help with the meals.
All this to say, it’s ok to cut back this year. The top priority is working through your grief.
5. Be Honest
This is perhaps one of the most important things you can do for yourself this holiday season; being honest with yourself and others about your personal limits and how you truly want to spend the holiday is going to make a huge difference.
Ultimately, it is going to help you reduce guilt, both for yourself and for your loved ones. They want to do and say the right thing, but knowing exactly what that is can be very difficult. Being straightforward with them about what you want will help significantly.
Making the Most of the Holidays
As overwhelming as it may feel, there are ways to make this holiday season special, even when working through a recent loss. Take some of our tips into account and make it a holiday that you can look back on with peace.