Grief at the holidays: Your friend or parent or spouse is dreading the holiday season because someone loved has passed away. The holidays were mom`s or best friend`s or spouse`s favorite holiday `& and they`re no longer on this Earth, not here to celebrate with.
How can you support and be there without doing more than the person can handle. This is part of the self-care or supports we need to pay attention to, whether it`s easy for us or not. It`s crucial, so here, some ideas for you to consider or share.
Create a special gift
A friend told a few of us work that it was the second Christmas after her husband`s death which was going to be difficult.
Year one, she was still in shock; year two, reality was setting in. One of our crew listened and then together, we created what would be a memorable, very special gift.
Beginning 25 days before Christmas, our friend received a small daily gift. We put a card with each gift, with the numeric countdown to Christmas.
This was supportive, we were told later, because our friend could look forward to each day, instead of dreading the countdown to her Christmas. A distraction, small gifts, and a card on Christmas, at the end of our countdown. A steady stream of daily support, so she would know if she needed anything from us, we’d each be there for her.
It`s often the days leading up to and after the holiday or anniversary, not the date itself, which are most difficult. If you live far away, you could send a card or postcard each day instead.
Were there particular traditions or foods which the person always enjoyed at the holiday? Keep those going in the person`s memory. Or marry one of her traditions with yours, so it’s a mixture of old and new.
Tell your stories about the tradition, so that this gets passed along to others; this is a wonderful way to carry on the person`s legacy, so that he/she still lives among you.
Write a letter or create an album
Write a letter with your memories of the person. This, being your personal perspectives, may be brand new information to your friend, and a way to complete the picture of their loved one.
Or create a scrapbook or one of the photo/journal books you can create online. Again, you`re creating your own version of the person, or his impact on your life. Your perspective is unique and will be appreciated.
If you`re going through this yourself, take time to think about what kind of holiday season you`d like ` quiet or active, filled with family or filled with friends, at home or on vacation somewhere for a change of scenery. What do you need to get through? It`s important you take the lead, because others will be watching you to figure out what they can do; so ask for what you need.
If you are the friend of someone going through this difficult time, just be available.
Think about how you might make their day more pleasant (flowers, lunch out on you, a card each day, a text message) and just do it. You may get no reaction, but know that your presence is felt, even if not acknowledged.
You`re not trying to cheer up. You`re simply trying to make each day go by a little more easily.
More ideas welcomed as always.
Call or write if you need support on this topic. I offer a no charge “get to know each other/goals talk” first.
Sue@CoachSueWest.com or 603 765 9267