Grief and the Holidays

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by Carol Fancher, LPC-MHSP(temp)NCC

Have you experienced a loss of a loved one recently and wish you could skip the holidays? Everyone’s scurrying about with all this decorating and singing and shopping and parties, yet, you find yourself uninterested, even disgusted at times by it all! You used to love the holidays, so what is different? In his book, A Grief Observed, C. S. Lewis compared the death of a beloved to having an amputation. I would agree, because the impact of losing a limb, as well as losing a loved one- profoundly impacts every aspect of one’s life-mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Other circumstances of the loss can also affect one’s road to recovery. So then on top of this, there are the holidays! Wish they would go away, or hope they will help you get your joy back? Whatever your thoughts, it may be helpful to focus first on self-care and grace! It’s important to take care of yourself with healthy eating, sleeping, and regular exercise. Next, take one day, one moment at a time and give yourself grace! It’s ok not to be in the “holiday spirit”! It’s ok to skip or take a break from a party or family gathering. If you do go, take some grace with you, because people say all the wrong things-even if they mean well! Let me leave you with one challenge for this holiday season: create one new tradition. It can be to honor your loved one, or for your fresh start, or both!