To some the coming of the holidays are hard to face, when you have to face them after you lost a love one it can be even harder. Here a Holy Family we would like you to know that you are not alone.
The following are some suggestions taken from Genesis wed site on coping with the holidays.
1. Bring your loved one into the Christmas celebration.
Light a special candle in your home in the memory of your loved one.
2. Eliminate the pressure as much as possible.
Only do what you want to do and what you are able to.
3. Evaluate family traditions.
It is helpful to have a discussion with other family members about what traditions you want to keep and what you would change.
4. If baking and other food preparation are a chore.
Then save your energy for other things and buy the food rather than spending time in preparation.
5. Since this is an emotionally and physically draining time.
Get lots of rest.
6. Buy a gift in memory of your loved one.
Give it to a needy person.
7. Invite someone who is alone.
To share in part of Christmas day with you.
8. There is never a good time to suppress your emotions.
Don’t do it now!
9. Rather than placing all the emphasis on Christmas Day.
Try to observe the season. Remember, the message of Christmas is one of hope. Every day you live, every event such as Christmas you observe, puts the death of your loved a day further into the past. Live in hope that the future will be brighter and some day you will enjoy Christmas again. Hold on to your hope!
Helping Grieving Children Coping With the Holidays:
Facing the holidays can be a stressful time for children at anytime but when they have to face the holidays without some they have lost can be really hard on them. Children are often referred to as the “forgotten mourners” As the holiday season approaches adults in the family may forget that the children are also ambivalent about the holidays. They have learned not to upset their parents and so they withdraw and don’t ask any questions. They just hope things will turn out fine and that they will have a good Christmas. There are many factors that hinder children in their grieving process. One of the difficulties children have in dealing with their grief is that they are often discouraged from expressing grief.
The following are some ideas about helping children deal with the holiday season.
1 Included children in any discussion about the holidays. It is a time of great insecurity for them and they need the security and support of the family. Let them know in advance that Christmas is going to be celebrated and give them some idea of what the possibilities are.
2 Ask the children what they would like to have happen on Christmas Day. Ask them what they want and don’t want. It is best to know ahead of time what is going to happen rather than approach the day without any plans.
3 Get the children’s ideas about an appropriate gift or donation in memory of the loved one. Make them part of the process. Children may also like the idea of putting a new decoration on the tree in memory of the one who has died. Let them choose it. They may also like the idea of a special candle that would burn in memory of the one who died. Let them buy it.
4 Give children a break from the family. If they need to spend part of their Christmas holidays with their friends, let them.
5 Encourage children to talk about the one who has died. This can be a painful experience, but it can prove helpful in allowing them to express their feelings.
Remember, the message of Christmas is one of hope. Christmas can be a good opportunity for the entire family to learn that life still has meaning after there is a death. There is a lot of good left in the family. The memory of the one who has died is often an impetus for the family to get together and celebrate even though the celebration will be different from what it has ever been.
Remember: “Grief shared is grief diminished.”
[Source: Pamphlet: Advent, 2007, Holy Family Parish, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.]