It is perfectly normal not to want to celebrate the holidays after the loss of child or any loss of a loved one. It rocks your world, it may never be the same again. But there are things you can do to be good to yourself and ease the pain of grief at its pinnacle during the holidays.
Focus on the LOVE and eventually you will enjoy the holidays with family and friends again.
Tips for Surviving Grief During the Holidays:
- Lower expectations about the holidays; plan ahead and decide what you are able to manage or not. Set boundaries and let others know.
- Decide if you want to stay home and be with family or get away to change the scenery. Trust your intuition, do what works for you.
- Allow yourself some quiet time to feel the grief and process it, don’t try to suppress or ignore it, or it will come back at you later. Use some deep breathing or meditation to help quiet your mind and body. If you are up to it, look at pictures and think about happier times.
- Try journaling, it’s very cathartic. Let all your honest feelings come out — no one ever has to see what you’ve written. What ends up coming out may surprise you.
- Take very good care of yourself – pamper yourself a bit. Get a massage or do something calm and relaxing, and get plenty of rest.
- Don’t be alone; accept or ask for support — someone who will listen and be empathic without judging or giving too much advice. Look into local support groups or online chat rooms where others have had similar experiences. Share your treasured memories.
- Don’t drown your grief in alcohol, drugs or chemicals – they will just make you feel more depressed. Nutrition, relaxation and moderation are important.
- Make it easy on yourself regarding shopping, gifts, and decorations. Shop online or give gift cards. Explain you can’t handle much this year. People will understand – or they’ll get over it; don’t feel guilty.
- Trust that your child’s spirit continues and they’ll be close to you during the holidays. Be open to feel them, and look for signs.
Wishing you peace and love through the holidays, whatever your beliefs