It seems that so many grief centers and organizations have their version of tips for grieving during the holidays. Some of them are pretty similar, but everyone tries to find a new and different angle. Why? You may ask. While at first glance, some may find it excessive, a lot of the time, we know that the holiday season is focused on things like family, joy, gatherings, gratitude, and so much more.
But what happens when your grief doesn’t match the messages society puts out there? Especially as reminders on TV, social media, and throughout the stores are constant. You may not have family or friends to gather with. So, thinking about the upcoming holiday season may bring about bouts of sadness instead of anticipation and joy. All in all, we know this can be a lonely and possibly painful time to grieve.
Instead of the old stand-by of “buck up and deal with it,” there are so many of us out there who, in our way, want to say, “We see you, and you are not alone.” and “We’ve been through our version of this pain, and we don’t want you to feel hopeless.” So we encourage you to find statements within the articles that bring about those tiny flickers of hope within you, which feels true to your experience.
Now for our turn, we only want to say 3 things about grieving during the holiday season:
Take care of yourself.
There are so many times grief can take a lot out of us, and the holiday season is undoubtedly one of those times. Find little ways to care for yourself through it all.
Please don’t isolate.
The weather gets colder, socializing may seem like more of a chore, and grief may feel heavier. Find ways to reach out to those who can help support you.
Do what is right for you.
Especially during the holiday season, well-meaning people may have quite a bit of unhelpful advice for you and your grief journey. Please only hold on to things that feel valuable and put the rest off to the side – you don’t need to carry all that unhelpful advice.