The holidays are a tough season for many who’ve lost a loved one. And not just the first year, or the second. I still have my moments close to twenty years later. What’s different for me is that I’m a seasoned pro. I know by now what works for me and what doesn’t.
Many of the suggestions below are reflections of what I’ve found works. So to all of you bracing for the highs and lows of the season, my wish for you is that you’ll allow yourself space to do any or all of the things mentioned that resonate with you. And for those of you searching how to best support your loved ones, my hope is you’ll understand grief and loss is a tough thing that touches every aspect of life. Please don’t take withdrawal personally and thank you for caring!
- Remember the greatest gift is sharing memories
- Allow me to say no to invitations without needing to justify or make excuses
- Let me know when you are hurting or missing them too
- Allow me to change my mind often
- Help me honor them in some meaningful way
- Remember the holidays will never be the same for me
- Allow me to cry, laugh, or leave when I need to
- Remember that much of what I do is a reflection of my grief or self-care, not my feelings about the holidays, or my friends and family
- Allow traditions to change to accommodate the missing space
I made a laundry list of my thoughts on the holidays over the years and over the next couple of weeks I’ll dive into a few things that work for me.