The holiday season has arrived, and with it can come a lot of emotion. There is the excitement to spend time with family, especially if you have children who are still giddy with the magic of the season. But if you have recently lost a loved one, the holidays can also bring a renewed period of mourning, as the loss can seem much more real once you have gathered your close family and friends and are missing someone special.
It is very common for people to experience waves of grief in this manner, particularly within the first year of losing someone. As the anticipation for the holiday builds, the grief can become particularly acute. People suffering from grief around the holidays may begin to lose sleep, feel angry or anxious or have bouts of sadness, crying and fatigue. It is natural for these people to occasionally lose interest in taking part in celebrations and social activities.
It is always difficult to live with grief, but the grief can be managed. Here are a few tips from a funeral planner in Clark County, WI to help you manage your experience with grief around the holidays:
- Don’t feel like you need to go to every celebration: If attending holiday celebrations only exacerbates the feelings of loss you’re experiencing, you should not feel bad about removing yourself from some of the holiday celebrations your family has planned. This isn’t to say you should avoid your family altogether during the holiday season, but if you are worried that they will cause you some grief, you can make an appearance and feel free to leave if needed.
- Make new traditions: You could also change up some of your holiday gatherings to help you limit painful reminders. Old traditions are often associated with loved ones, so new traditions can help you create your own memories. Consider having another person host the holiday celebration, or try volunteering for a nonprofit on the holiday to honor your loved one.
- Lean on your support system: You have probably developed a solid support system in the aftermath of your loved one’s passing. That support system can be crucial during the holiday season. Let your friends and loved ones know the difficulties you are having with the holidays, and tell them if there are any memories or traditions that might be particularly painful to you. Let them know you may need to remove yourself from some gatherings—you’ll likely find they’ll be very understanding.
- Don’t shut the memories away: It’s going to be impossible for you to completely separate yourself from the memories you have of your loved one, so be intentional about remembering them and grieving and giving yourself the space you need to do so. You might even have a physical box or container in which you keep particular items that hold a special significance to you in terms of your relationship with your loved one. You can open this container and revisit those memories, then close as needed.
For more tips about managing grief over the holidays, or to benefit from professional funeral planning service in Clark County, WI, contact Maurina-Schilling Funeral Homes today.