How to Survive the Holidays: Tips for Widows
December 16th, 2008 by

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.

One Response to “How to Survive the Holidays: Tips for Widows”

  1. Gail Says:

    I lost my husband a little over two years ago to lung cancer. I’ve been fighting my way through the feelings of loss and thought I was doing a damn good job of it.

    A week ago, this past Monday, I came upon an accident scene. The woman died. She had been ejected from her car.

    I will never forget this…but it also reminded me how very, very precious life is. I had been trying to surmount my own feelings of loss…still…but this encounter forced me to realize that there is loss every day.

    Counting blessings doesn’t always help…trying to get through that next day doesn’t always allow you to see the blessings…but encountering the passing of another…that does.

    It was a wake-up for me. The loss of her death was the birth of my new life. Just like the spirit in which Christmas should be. I pray that you all feel the birth of your new life. I don’t know you, but I am there with you in heart and spirit.

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