Tips for Handling the Holidays after a Loved One has Died

Don’t be surprised at the power of unexpected pangs of grief, also knows as SUGS (Sudden upsurges of Grief).  Recognize that it is not unusual to re-experience waves of intense sadness.  Find places to have quiet times until these pass.  Keep yourself safe while reducing your expectations. This is not a normal event.  These reactions are NORMAL.

Arrange to be with others who have gone through a similar loss.  Set up times to be with family and friends.  Know that the first year can often be the most difficult. Being with others who know some of what you are going through reduces the need to explain.  You and other co-victims are there to listen to one another.  Limit your contact with difficult people. Don’t let anyone try to convince you that avoidance is bad.

Create new traditions and rituals. Such as assign a new person to conduct the tasks that your loved one did at holiday events in their name. Set up an event before the actual holiday event specifically to remember your loved one. Such as: Begin creating an album of memories, to tell stories of your loved one, have some of their favorite foods to share with family and friends.

Start an annual tradition of making or purchasing an ornament to be included in your annual decorations that symbolize something that reminds you of your loved one.

Most of all, reduce your expectations, pace yourself and do less this year. This may be the start of putting more meaning into the holidays for you.

And remember that although your physical contact with your loved one is gone, your relationship with them lives on.  Help those  of us who carry the burden remember the memory of your loved one too.

For More  go to:

Wishing you well,

Connie Saindon, LMFT