It’s a horrible thing to lose a loved one. And the holidays make it especially hard. How does one grieve the loss of a loved one during the holidays without totally losing it? Well, it’s not easy, that’s for sure. But there are a few things I think one can do to make the holidays a bit more bearable. Here goes:
1.) Give yourself a break
Chances are, you have been beating yourself up because you feel like you may be at fault somehow for the passing of your loved one. Or maybe you have regrets because you weren’t given the opportunity to tell your loved one one last time that you loved him/her. Well, give yourself a break. Things are always as they are supposed to be and I am positive your loved one knows that you love him/her.
2.) Memorialize and Celebrate Your Loved One During the Holidays
What did you do with your loved one when he/she was alive to celebrate the holidays? Maybe you could keep up this tradition and do the same ritual with him/her in mind. For example, if you used to listen to holiday music and drink hot chocolate while putting up the Christmas decorations, you can still do this. You could put a picture of your loved one near you while you do this and talk to him/her as if the loved one were actually present. Chances are, he/she will hear you and appreciate that you are continuing your holiday traditions and aren’t curled up in a ball in the corner crying.
3.) Make a Shrine and/or have a Memorial for your Loved One
What did you do to grieve your loved one? Did you have a private memorial service? Did you create a shrine of your loved one? These are things that you could do to help let go of your loved one and celebrate their life. Make a collage of the person and invite a few close friends over to help you celebrate your loved one. Then take that collage and make it a part of your shrine.
4.) Continue to talk to your loved one
Just because your loved one has passed does not mean that the relationship has to end. You haven’t stopped caring about your loved one so don’t emotionally cut yourself off from him/her. Continue to talk to your loved one on a regular basis and keep the communication open. He/she hears you and knows you are in pain over their passing. But your loved one also wants to see you happy again, so make an effort to let go of the loved one while still talking to him/her on a regular basis.
5.) Give thanks and be grateful
There is nothing better for one’s emotional wellness than to have gratitude in your heart for what you do have to be grateful for. Even though your loved one isn’t around anymore, I am sure there are other people who love you and want to celebrate the holidays with you. Give thanks for those that are still alive and be sure to be present and engaged when you celebrate the holidays with them. Keep a gratitude journal or use a gratitude app.
Can you think of anything else that you could do to grieve the loss of your loved one to make the holidays more bearable? If so, comment below. Happy holidays to everyone!