Special Days and Holidays

The loss of a loved ones can bring pain and sadness to previously happy celebrations. How do we best cope with those feelings? How do we help other family members though these difficult days? Communication and preparation can help avoid additional grief caused by failed expectations. In these posts we share pitfalls and successes in dealing with holidays and other special days.

  From Our Experience

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A recent Thanksgiving gathering taught me… Find the beauty in the room with you. Don’t worry about the memories you are missing, or the ones gone by—focus on the memories you are making. Live in the moment.

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I learned this lesson from my son’s birthday party… Although it’s ok to feel the sadness when it hits, I’m so glad I didn’t just sit there and wallow in the sadness. It’s better to go and do something, whether it’s exercise, serving others or flying on trapeze bars! This is my life, not just to endure and get through, but to choose to enjoy!

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I kept most of our traditions the same. The children need that, in my opinion. They already suffered a great loss, I felt stability was the answer. You’ll find what works for you. No matter what void is felt, we need try to stay positive and make them proud.

I’m new to widowhood but as a therapist I have to agree that starting new traditions and ways to honor him will help make it a celebration. If you keep everything the same, you will only feel his absence.

[i class=”icon-pencil”]  Tips to Cope with Reawakened Grief

According to an article by the Mayo Clinic, “Even years after a loss, you might continue to feel sadness when you’re confronted with reminders of your loved one’s death. As you continue healing, take steps to cope with reminders of your loss. For example:”

  • Be prepared. Anniversary reactions are normal. Knowing that you’re likely to experience anniversary reactions can help you understand them and even turn them into opportunities for healing.
  • Plan a distraction. Schedule a gathering or a visit with friends or loved ones during times when you’re likely to feel alone or be reminded of your loved one’s death.
  • Reminisce about your relationship. Focus on the good things about your relationship with your loved one and the time you had together, rather than the loss. Write a letter to your loved one or a note about some of your good memories. You can add to this note anytime.
  • Start a new tradition. Make a donation to a charitable organization in your loved one’s name on birthdays or holidays, or plant a tree in honor of your loved one.
  • Connect with others. Draw friends and loved ones close to you, including people who were special to your loved one. Find someone who’ll encourage you to talk about your loss. Stay connected to your usual support systems, such as spiritual leaders and social groups. Consider joining a bereavement support group.
  • Allow yourself to feel a range of emotions. It’s OK to be sad and feel a sense of loss, but also allow yourself to experience joy and happiness. As you celebrate special times, you might find yourself both laughing and crying.


Strength for the Day

God did not promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without ran, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way.