Holidays are often difficult for anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one.
Along with joy, the holidays can spark feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness.
As you approach the holidays, remember that grief is both a necessity and a privilege – it comes as a result of giving and receiving love.
Don’t let anyone take your grief away. Love yourself. Be patient with yourself.
And allow yourself to be surrounded by loving, caring people.
Although there is no single way to take away emotional pain, simple guidelines can help people cope during the holidays.
Milward Funeral Directors, in collaboration with Hospice of the Bluegrass, will host Holiday Hope, featuring Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., an internationally noted author, educator and grief counselor.
The program is free and will be held at the Celebration Center of Lexington, 1509 Trent Boulevard on Monday, Nov. 12, 7-9 p.m.
During Holiday Hope, Dr. Wolfelt will answer questions and make suggestions to help you better cope with your grief during this joyful, yet painful time of year.
Here are a few general guidelines:
- Talk about your grief during the holidays. Expressing your feelings is healthy and beneficial.
- Be tolerant of your physical and psychological limits. Feelings of loss may leave you fatigued. Respect what your body and mind are telling you.
- Eliminate unnecessary stress and don’t overextend yourself. Be sure to set aside alone time. Realize that merely “keeping busy” won’t distract you from your grief.
- Surround yourself with supportive, comforting people. Identify friends and relatives who understand that the holiday season can increase your sense of loss.
- Be with friends who allow you to talk openly about your feelings.
- Mention the person who has died in your holiday conversations.
- Do what is right for you during the holidays. Well-meaning friends and family often try to prescribe what is best.
- Instead of going along with their plans, focus on your needs and share them with your friends and family.
- Plan ahead for family gatherings. Decide which family traditions you want to continue and which new ones you would like to begin.
- Renew or express your faith during the holidays. If your faith is important, you may want to attend a holiday service or special religious ceremony.