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Coping With Loss During The Holidays

(flickr.com user)A couple days ago I posted the results to a question I asked on facebook.  The question was, “What is the worst part about Christmas this year?”  One of the most commonly found responses was “missing loved ones.”  I’m with you.  It’s not easy to put a smile on your face when you’re missing someone that you love.

Christmas to me is all about spending time with family and friends.  So when you don’t get to see them all, it feels like there’s a hole.  My hole is still from my dad.  I miss him every day.  But around the holidays I seem to think about him more and wonder what things would be like if he was still here.

Here are some suggestions I have for people who are simply trying to “make it through” the holidays while they’re missing a loved one:

  1.  Keep in mind that there are still a lot of people here that love you.  Live for them.  I’m not saying to forget the person that you’re missing.  But also don’t neglect the ones that need your attention.
  2. Talk about them.  Tell stories.  Laugh about how great they were.  Remember them.  Chances are, there are other people who think your loved one was pretty special too.  Celebrate their life.  Don’t dwell on your loss.
  3. Be honest with yourself.  It’s ok to cry every now and then.  Don’t think there’s something wrong with you because you miss them.  But don’t be afraid to seek out a shoulder to cry on.  Don’t go through it alone.
  4. Do something in memory of your loved one.  Some people like to light candles.  I prefer the thought of buying  a child a present and signing you loved one’s name to it or making a donation in their memory.  That way you’re helping someone else at the same time.
  5. Surround yourself with people that love you but don’t be afraid to walk away from the crowd every now and again to give yourself a little time by yourself.  Take care of yourself the best way you know how.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family this holiday season, those that are here with us and the ones in heaven too.  I hope you find peace and can find a way to enjoy.  God bless.

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