Losing a loved one is one of the hardest experiences in life. It’s a major adjustment to start a new chapter without them. Whether you grieve as a family or an individual, the pain can be intense. When the holidays come around, this loss can feel even more painful.
When someone we love is no longer with us, these holidays become a challenge to handle. However, you have to find a way to be there for the others currently in your life. In this article, we will go over how to get through the holidays after losing a loved one.
Preparing for the Holidays
How you prepare for the holidays is going to play a big part in how you are able to handle the absence of your loved one. Although they might not be there physically, as you prepare for the holidays, make their memory alive with you so you can feel their presence with you.
You might find comfort in keeping some of the traditions you used to enjoy together. But it’s also okay to change things if that feels better for you. For example, if your loved one always cooked a special meal, you might want to try making it in their honor. Or, if that’s too hard, you could light a candle for them or put their keepsake urn in a special place during your holiday gatherings.
Create New Traditions
When there is a loss, finding ways to keep their memory alive and present is a way to help you through the healing journey. Traditions are a big part of holidays and some of them will be changed without your loved one there. This is why it’s important to create new traditions with the memory of your departed in mind.
One idea is to create a memory book filled with photos and stories about them. You can look through this book during the holidays and remember the good times. Another idea is to make a donation to a charity they cared about in their name.
If they used to host everybody for the holiday and make a big meal, find another family member who would like to take on that role and cook some of the dishes that made it such a special meal.
Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself is very important, especially during the holiday season when you are grieving. It can take a lot of strength to be there for others and be present for the holiday. You’ll need to find it within you to get through which means taking care of yourself to have the strength.
Self-care can mean different things for different people. It might be as simple as making sure you get enough rest. Or it could mean taking a break from holiday activities if you start to feel overwhelmed.
It’s also important to let yourself feel happy, even though you are grieving. You might feel guilty at first for enjoying a holiday activity without your loved one. But it’s okay to be happy and to have fun.