I think many grievers become overwhelmed with conflicting feelings during the holidays. Questions arise about how to best cope during this festive season when you are not feeling festive.
1) Really be honest with yourself. Your loved one is gone physically. Acknowledge that no matter what you do, things won’t be the same. I believe that this acknowledgment can really help with the confusion and frustration that often comes up during the holidays.
2) Decide to take control of your participation in holiday events. Ask yourself if you want to continue with previous traditions. And if you do, be clear about the reasons you want to continue with these traditions. You have lost your loved one. You had no control over that, but you do have control over how you choose to spend your holiday.
3) Consider different options. If you always stayed home, consider going away, even if it is just a day trip to go hiking or for a long drive. You might also consider volunteering at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.
While the holidays can be a difficult time for grievers, they can also be a time to really review what is important in your life. Writing about your feelings can be a very informative and empowering experience. If you don’t already journal, pick up a blank notebook at your office supply store and just begin writing about your feelings regarding the holidays and holiday traditions.
Writing causes thinking. Your inner wisdom will guide you as you allow the writing process to unfold.
As you become clearer about your feelings you will begin to feel a sense of inner empowerment. This feeling of empowerment is one of the transformative gifts that can unfold through the grieving process.
Consider your option and realize that you do have choices. The holidays can afford you the opportunity to see more deeply into your own identity as a griever, but also as someone who is moving through and beyond your grief.