Coping with Grief During the Holidays

Cut back on your card sending. It is not necessary to send cards, especially to those people we will see over the holidays.

Do something for someone else, such as volunteer work at soup kitchens or visit the lonely and shut-ins. Ask someone who is alone to share the day with your family. Provide help for a needy family.

Donate a gift or money in your loved one's name.

Share your concerns, feelings, apprehensions, etc. with a relative or friend as the holiday approaches. Tell them that this is a difficult time for you. Accept their help. You will appreciate their love and support at this time.

Holidays often magnify feelings of loss of a loved one. It is important and natural to experience the sadness that comes. To block such feelings is unhealthy. Keep the positive memory of the loved one alive.

Often after the first year the people in your life may expect you to be over it. We are never over it but the experience of many bereaved is that eventually they enjoy the holidays again. Hold on to HOPE. Don't forget, anticipation of any holiday is so much worse than the actual holiday.

Excerpted from Hope for the Bereaved (now out of print), Grace Happens Rivendell Resources

Copyright © Cendra (ken'dra) Lynn, Ph.D. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.