Holidays are a time when loved ones can take a pause from their daily life and be together. For many of us, this time includes grief.
Holidays are a time where the pain of lost loved ones resurfaces. The anticipation of the holidays can bring dread and anxiety, knowing your lost loved one(s) will not be there -knowing they will be missing at the table.
People grieve differently. Some may want to move through the holidays without mentioning the absence. Others may want to acknowledge what is missing.
There are ways that you can process grief, honor your loved ones, and give them a place during your holiday experience. Some ideas include:
- Sharing memories of past holidays
- Going through photo albums with those who knew loved one(s)
- Visit their graves
- Taking a moment during the celebration to pause and acknowledge your loved one(s)
- Creating a tribute to your loved one(s)
It can be helpful to discuss a plan with those you are celebrating with. Asking if someone is interested in any of the above ideas, or if they would rather not discuss the loss.
There are many ways to honor, to feel, to grieve, to remember, to cry, to smile, and to laugh in honor of your lost loved ones. Their energy can still be present if you want it to be.
To discuss grief and loss, holiday stress, family dynamics, or anything else that may be present during this holiday season, please reach out to Mollie Aklepi, LMSW at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am working over the holiday to be available for communities and individuals who are struggling during this time