Grief and the Holidays
The holidays are a time of celebration and coming together. The hustle and bustle of the season bring traditions, memories, and reflection. There are so many emotions we all experience during the holidays. We experience love, happiness, hope, and excitement. We can also feel anxiety, sorrow, disappointment, and grief. We want to share a few ways to help ease the stress, keep loved ones’ memories alive, and use tips to help you cope during the holiday season when anxiety, sorry, disappointment, and grief is present. If you or someone you know experience grief this holiday season, the support of family, friends, and reflection can be powerful tools to help. When that’s not enough, call our counseling team, 1-800-233-1708. We are only a phone call away to support you when you need it.
Ease the stress:
- Plan ahead.
- Ask for help.
- Be present in the moment.
- Get rest.
Ideas to remember loved ones and keep their memory alive:
- Volunteer and get involved in honor of your loved one.
- Set a place at the table with a photo of them.
- Light a candle and take a moment to reflect or say a prayer.
- Go around the table and tell a story or memory before a meal.
- Get a small tree and decorate it with themed décor. For example: if they loved fishing, use fishing hooks, fish and accessories to make it stand out.
- Cook and enjoy their favorite dish.
- Make a donation to a charity in their memory.
Cope during the holidays:
- It’s ok to say no. If you have too much on your plate, are feeling overwhelmed, or just need a break; it is acceptable to decline an offer.
- It’s ok to delegate. The holidays are a busy time of year. Ask for help or hire a service to take the extras off your to-do list. For example: consider hiring a cleaning service or go to a bakery to get your sweet treats this year.
- It’s ok to bring a friend. Change isn’t always the most comfortable thing. Grab a plus one or do things in a group setting to give you a boost of confidence and familiarity.
- It’s ok to start new traditions. The only way to make a tradition is to start something new. Maybe it’s time for a change or redirect an experience. Make a new tradition in someone’s honor, for your own change of pace, or just simply because it’s fun to try new things.
Grief involving the loss of a loved one or close friend brings forth a wide range of emotions and responses which may be difficult to understand or handle. Our Bereavement Counselors assess the needs of the primary caregiver following the death of each patient in our program. We provide in-home, telephone or educational grief support as needed and/or requested. Besides Bereavement Counselors, some of the other grief support options available through Hospice of Southern Illinois include: Grief Support Groups and grief support programs such as Memorial Gatherings, and our Tree of Life ceremony. Learn more about our programs and services, click here. There comes a time… to ask how hospice can help.
“Grief never ends… but it changes. It is a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith… It is the price of Love.” -Author Unknown-