It’s hard to go through the holidays when you are grieving, but it’s better to prepare for them than to pretend that they don’t exist.
Our culture says that the holidays are a time to celebrate, decorate and be merry, but the holidays can make our loss even harder to bear. You can bring comfort to yourself and your family by planning for your holidays and honoring your memories.
Create new traditions, like lighting a special candle or buying a special tree ornament or my favorite, donating to a charity in memory of your loved one – all of these things will honor the holidays and your memories.
For some, the grief is too new and they want to bypass the holidays. If that is what you need to do then plan for it and let your family and friends know so they can respect your decision. It’s ok to openly grieve and acknowledge your pain as you work through the holidays.
Give yourself permission to break from tradition and do things differently or hold onto those traditions if they help you. Our memories are the real treasures of the holidays so plan to honor them and don’t get caught up in the expectations of others.
For some the plan is to go full out and for others it’s to stay low. Plan your holidays – your traditions old and new plus who you want to be with or step back from it all until you are ready. It doesn’t really matter which path you take as long as it’s your choice.
Remember it’s not all about the market place and the perfect Christmas family movie. It’s important to plan for what you need and to take some time for a little self-care.