With decorations up in every store and Bing Crosby on the radio, it's hard to miss that the holidays are fast approaching. For most, this is a time to spend with family, sharing meals and exchanging gifts. But when a loved one has passed away, the holidays can be a harsh reminder that there’s an empty seat at the table.
"When you're grieving, it's a very difficult time," says Crossroads Hospice Bereavement Coordinator Crystal Gorel. "It's important to prepare yourself. If a certain holiday was a special time for you and that person, you should expect it to be hard and make a plan for how you're going to get through that day." Crystal offers these three tips to help you cope with grief this holiday season:
Honor Your Loved One - Create a ritual that honors the special person you have lost. Light a candle. Read a poem. Put a special ornament on the Christmas tree.
Know It Is Okay To Change Your Rituals - Do what is best for you during this time of healing. It's okay to say no to cooking or visiting other houses. You need to decide for yourself if you will be more comforted around people or taking some time for yourself.
Give Back - Volunteering at a soup kitchen, church, or local non-profit can be a great way to find new meaning in the holiday. Crystal says, "When you give back, you feel good; and when you feel good, the hurt lessens."
While the next few weeks have a lot of holidays back-to-back, Crystal recommends taking it day-by-day so you don't get overwhelmed. "Don't look at all the holidays - Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah, and New Years - at once. Just get through each one before tackling the next one." If you are struggling with grief during the holidays, please give us a call at 888-564-3405 or visit our website. There are many resources to help you during this time.
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