As we wrote in our previous post, losing a loved one is never easy – and the holiday season can amplify those emotions. While skipping the month of December might sound tempting, avoidance is not that answer. There things you can do to make it easier.
Accept one invitation
While saying no to every invitation seems like a good idea, it can be helpful to go to at least one festive event. Choose one with friends or family you care about and trust and feel comfortable around. You don’t want to attend an event where you feel further isolated. When you’re surrounded by loved ones it can be easier, as many will be sharing in your grief.
Enjoy alone time
Self-care is an important part of healing. The holidays can be stressful as it is, so be sure to enjoy some quiet time. Sit and read by the fire, or take a warm bath or a soak in a hot tub, or watch a movie or listen to music. It doesn’t have to be holiday themed – just simple relaxing activities that you enjoy doing alone.
Visit with friends
It doesn’t have to be a party or event, just a cup of coffee or a lunch. Meeting with friends you love and trust can be a great comfort to you. If you have a support system, lean on them. If a friend lives far away, call them if you need to talk.
Acknowledge the absence
Holidays will feel different. Not just this year, but every year going forward. Traditions will end, but it’s important to remember the good times. Instead of pretending like everything is fine, recognize your loss. Some people find it comforting to do certain things in memory of their deceased loved one, such as make their favourite dish, or play their favourite Christmas carol, or hang their favourite ornament. Others attend services at their church.
Let others help
If you always cooked the holiday meal, or your deceased spouse did, let others step in and fill those shoes. Other’s may offer to drive you places, or bring you some groceries. Don’t say no to everyone. Sometimes you need to accept help when it’s truly needed. If your neighbour offers to help you clean your house, or shovel your driveway, it’s okay to take them up on that offer.
Take it one day at a time
There’s no magic wand that makes everything better. You just have to keep going day by day, holiday by holiday. This year might not feel joyous, and maybe not even next year, but you just have to give yourself time and space to cope with the loss.
If you’re grieving this holiday season the staff at Chapel Ridge Funeral Home in Markham is there when you need us. We can recommend someone to talk to if needed.