Hope for the Holidays

The Holidays are difficult for families grieving. Here are some suggestions that may aid you in surviving the Holidays.
• Call a family meeting and discuss your plans for the holiday season, understanding that it would be unusual for you not to feel emotionally, physically and psychologically drained. Don’t set your expectations too high or you may find yourself disappointed.
• Well intentioned friends and family may want to include you in their plans, believing it best for you to “get away” from grieving your loss. They don’t understand that you cannot escape the grief that you feel. There is no obligation to say “yes”. Participate only if you want to.
• Take care of yourself. It’s important that you eat properly, drink plenty of water, exercise (at least a walk during the afternoon) and get plenty of rest.
• Take time to do things YOU want to do. You may need time alone to reflect or to write your thoughts.
• It’s ok to eliminate such things as festive decorations, cooking and baking that you would normally have enjoyed during previous holidays. People will understand if you’re not in a merry or joyous mood or simply don’t have the energy. You may try lighting a candle in memory of your loved one. Don’t feel obligated to send out holiday cards.
• If it is necessary for you to buy gifts, consider ordering them over the internet or purchase gift cards. Most who are bereaved find it draining to out and fight through crowded stores bustling with holiday cheer.
• Many families that are in mourning may use may use the money they would have spent on gifts for their family member to buy gifts for an underprivileged child or family who would not otherwise be able to celebrate the holidays.
• Most families find some comfort by being with others who have experienced a similar loss.
• It’s okay to cry.
• Be kind to yourself.

from 2013 Worldwide Candle Lighting, Rocklin, CA