Losing someone important to us is one of the toughest moments in life. No matter the circumstances, that loss can make life in general quite difficult. It can also make the holidays a time of stress and grief instead of one of gathering and joy.
Whether you have had a traditional funeral or not, processing the loss happens differently for each of us. Having a funeral – with the help of a funeral director in Melbourne – can be the beginning of the healing process – but it is not uncommon for people to face setbacks in healing when the holidays roll around.
During the holidays, grieving can be that much more difficult. It doesn’t matter if the wound is fresh or if it has been there for years. The festive season impacts all of us in different ways and to different extents.
There are a few suggestions that may help to deal with grief when the holidays come around; here are some of them.
Part of what makes the holidays so difficult for those who have experienced loss is that they don’t want to acknowledge it. Remembering that person, no matter how long it has been, can be painful in many ways.
That makes people not want to remember. But an important part of grieving during the holidays is to acknowledge that things will be different. Acknowledge that it may be emotionally tough. That won’t necessarily staunch the pain, but it can help provide that missing piece of reality.
The healing process can’t begin if you cannot acknowledge that something bad happened. Take that grief head-on and try not to run from it.
Reliving memories shared together with loved ones can be immensely painful, especially during a time generally dedicated to fun and good cheer. Although we all want to do without the pain of remembering, avoiding it is not the way to go.
Instead of focusing on the pain of remembering, focus on the good things. Whether it is for yourself or someone you care about, remembering that someone is important. It can mean looking through photos. It can mean talking about fond memories.
The goal should be to remember the person who has been lost fondly. It is to remember the good instead of the bad that came with the loss. It may not result in total, immediate healing but it can change the perspective for anyone who is grieving.
No matter whether you are the person hurting or you are trying to help someone, communication is one of the most effective means of dealing with grief. There are a lot of thoughts and emotions that are boiling to the surface during times like these.
If you are grieving, talk to people. Tell them what you are feeling, what you hope for out of the holidays, and what you aren’t comfortable with. Be honest and listen to yourself. If you aren’t ready for the holidays, make that known. Those who care will support you.
If you are trying to help someone who has lost a loved one recently, all you can do is listen. Listen when they tell you what they want, listen when they try to share their feelings and emotions. It is not an easy process but even the gesture can go a long way towards recovery.
For those struggling with loss around the holidays, receiving help is okay. We are all human and sometimes need help to get through the particularly tough points in life. Instead of trying to stay strong and stand alone, look for the helping hand.
Be there for someone if you have a loved one or friend who is dealing with the grief of loss. It may not feel like you are helping, but even little things such as ensuring that they eat or helping them with chores can go a long way.
When that person comes out of their grieving period, they will remember the help that you provided. Getting over a loss is not something that happens overnight. It takes time, effort, and support from those we care about and who care about us.
Finding yourself grieving during the holiday season can be difficult enough. But when grief is all that you can think about, it can become all too easy to ignore simple tasks such as eating or bathing.
It can be difficult to focus on the little things when the world feels so heavy. But try to make efforts towards self-care. It can be something simple such as remembering to eat a balanced meal. It can mean going to the gym for even a short while to burn off stress.
Overall, the most important thing is to give yourself the care that you need and be open and communicative about your needs during the festive season. Hopefully, these tips will help point you in the right direction when it comes to celebrating the holidays without the presence of a loved one.
Read also: Challenging 11 Unhelpful Thinking Styles
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