Pamela Stewart: Holiday Grief
The Holidays can be a joyful time when family comes together to celebrate, but they can also be a time when the absence of loved ones who have passed on or moved on is keenly felt. Is grief over loss coloring your outlook on the holidays? Pamela Stewart offers some good insight into holiday grief and some excellent tips from The Hospice Foundation of America in this article for NJ.com. Try this excerpt, and if you find some solace in it, click the link below to read the full article. And if you recognize a need for grief counseling for yourself or someone else after reading this article, please contact me today. Addressing issues of grief and loss now can lead to brighter holidays in the future.
Plan for the approaching holidays. Be aware that this might be difficult time for you. It’s not uncommon to feel out of sorts with the celebratory tone of the season. The additional stress may affect you emotionally, cognitively and physically; this is a normal reaction. It is important to be prepared for these feelings.
Recognize that holidays won’t be the same. If you try to keep everything as it was, you’ll be disappointed. Doing things a bit differently can acknowledge the change while preserving continuity with the past. Different menus, changing decorations, attending a different service, or even celebrating in a different location may provide that slight but significant shift. However, be aware that your feelings will still be there. If you decide on a change, be careful not to isolate yourself.
The holidays may affect other family members. Talk over your plans. Respect their choices and needs and compromise if necessary. Everyone—including yourself— should participate in ways that are comfortable.