Grief and the Holidays

Janet Breen, LPC; Program Coordinator, Kaleidoscope Grief Center

The Holidays are upon us and if you are dealing with the death of a loved one, grief at its best, is an unpleasant journey. It is a trip we try to avoid but death comes to us all at one time or another in our lives. It is a trip we all must take.

Sometimes it is difficult to believe that you will ever feel better or that you will be able to move on with your life. No doubt, you have been forever changed by your loss and are on a path to try to make sense of things and begin a new way of life.

It helps to know that what you choose to do now in your time of grief is something you may not have chosen last month or last week. Your process is continually changing as you are on this journey to attempt to deal with your loss.

During this holiday season, it might help to consider the following grief tips that many grief experts advise including Dr. John Canine of Maximum Living Consultants, Inc.:

  1. Tell yourself that you are ok and focus on your good traits.
  2. Avoid thoughts that begin with “if only”.
  3. Tell yourself that you will get better.
  4. Talk about your loved one’s death and tell their story.
  5. Understand that the grieving process includes progress and set backs.
  6. Live one day at a time.
  7. Understand and express your feelings.
  8. Exercise and eat nutritious foods.
  9. Be open to new experiences.
  10. Let the children have a place in planning family holiday activities.
  11. Light a candle in honor of your loved one.

Grief is best expressed through rituals. Lighting a candle gives you permission to sit down, reflect, look at pictures, and release emotions. It is a lesson we have learned well at the Kaleidoscope Grief Center. We light our community memorial candle at the start of every grief group in honor of our deceased loved one. Please consider contacting Kaleidoscope Grief Center for grief services for you and your family if you are struggling with the support you need at this difficult time.

It is good to have a plan for your grief in anticipating the holidays. Take time this season to consider one or more of these ideas and then, do it!