Anticipation of a new experience, ritual, or event is often more overwhelming than the event itself. Holidays are especially difficult and often filled with ambivalence even during the best of times. For those of us who have suffered the death of a loved one, the holiday season seems especially complicated and can be filled with mixed emotions.
There is no right or wrong way to deal with the holidays, we must each decide what feels best and is most comforting. First and foremost, try to be kind to yourself. Follow your instincts and desires. Although some people find comfort in speaking with a supportive friend or confidante, this may not be what you find helpful. If you do choose to share your experience with others, try to include your loved one’s name in conversation and recollect past holidays and joys. Cherish and embrace the treasure of your memories.
Many bereaved families have found unique and meaningful ways of remembering their loved one during this season. Here are some ideas and ways which have helped others and may provide additional support.
Remember, that by being understanding, patient and gentle with yourself you will continue to heal and maintain the continuing bond and love for the person you have lost. There is no magic to handling the holidays. Try to remember: be kind to yourself.
Our best and warmest wishes to all this holiday season, and throughout the coming year.