It seems that so many grief centers and organizations have their own version of tips for grieving during the holidays. Some of them are quite 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 up with the messages society is putting out there? You may not have family or friends to gather with. Thinking about the upcoming holiday season may bring about bouts of sadness instead of anticipation and joy. Or you may wish that these constant reminders on TV, social media, and throughout the stores were taken down ASAP. 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 own way, want to say, “We see you and you are not alone.” and “We’ve been through our own version of this pain, and we don’t want you to feel hopeless.” So we encourage you to find statements within the articles you find that bring about those small flickers of hope within you and that feel 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 sure one of those times. Find little ways to care for yourself through it all.
- Please don’t isolate. Weather gets colder, socializing may seem like more of a chore, and then grief may feel heavier. Find ways to reach out to those who can help support you.
- Do what is right for you. This is the season where 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 of that unhelpful advice too.
We know these 3 things won’t fix your holiday season blues, but we hope they will help you to feel empowered in finding what works for you and helps you create a space for your grief to live alongside these other experiences.