Here are more tips on how to enjoy the holidays while honoring your loss.
- Tell your stories. Stories help us stay connected to those who have died and help us create meaning about what we have experienced. Finding a place for that story to be received is an essential part of the grief journey.
- Document your stories. Tell the story of your loved one as it relates to the holiday season to someone who listens well. You can also spend some time writing specific memories related to your loved one and the holidays.
- Acknowledge someone else’s loss. Those who grieve want their loss and their loved one remembered, so consider contacting someone who is grieving like you. It doesn’t matter how long ago that loss may have been. Offer the compassion to other’s that you desire for yourself.
- Show compassion. Compassion means to suffer with and calls us to enter the pain of another. Listen with gentle curiosity and an open heart. Consider donating to a cause that is relevant to the person who is grieving.
- Be Forgiving. Let self-compassion replace any self-criticism as you do your best to balance holiday enjoyment with your grief. Also, be forgiving of well-meaning others who may try to help you with your pain by “cheering you up.”
- It’s all relative. How you measure what’s significant and what’s trivial may change as you grieve. Patience may be needed when you’re with others during the holiday’s who experience the mundane as significant.
- Offer and seek forgiveness. As you reflect on your loss, you may also benefit from reviewing your history with your loved one who has died. You can seek to offer and accept forgiveness for the human flaws you each have that affected your relationship.
- Remember always. You grieve because you loved them. May you have peace and light as you embrace your story of love and loss this holiday season.
In case you missed the first two posts on how to enjoy the holidays while honoring your loss you can start with part one here:
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