The holiday season has begun – and with it all the festivities and traditions you look forward to every year. But if you have experienced the loss of a loved one, the holidays can also bring back difficult or painful memories of your cherished friend or family member. Whether your loss is recent or not, knowing you will not see or spend time with the person you loved can make your feelings of grief or loneliness fresh again. At Krause Funeral Homes, our families often ask, “Does getting through the holidays ever get easier?”
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The Krause team knows that the grief journey is different for everyone, and what helps some people cope may not be right for you. Of course, you will always miss your loved one and wish they were still with you to enjoy the season. At this time of year, you may be overwhelmed simply by hearing a particularly special holiday song. Some suggestions for coping this season:
- Give yourself permission to feel sad. It’s ok to feel sad or depressed, even while others around you are celebrating with holiday cheer. Sharing your feelings with others who may also be missing your loved one may give you a sense of connection and help you to cope with your feelings.
- Pay tribute to your lost friend or family member. You may find that preparing a special dish your family member loved or hanging their stocking alongside yours acknowledges your special relationship and offers a loving memorial to them year after year.
- Start a new tradition. If your family member loved eggnog or champagne, raise a toast of their favorite beverage in their honor. If they were avid gardeners, gift others in your family with seeds, a pretty plant, or stationery with images of flowers in honor of your loved one. You might invite others to sing a favorite hymn together. You may soon look forward to your new traditions as much as you did the old.
- Share your feelings. Our grief aftercare resources provide you with access to support groups and counselors who can help you with your feelings of loss. If you want to get started right away, you can make use of our online, interactive grief support.
- Pay a visit. If your loved one is buried nearby, or has been interred in a memorial urn, paying a visit to the cemetery or mausoleum where they rest may give you a sense of comfort and may even help you feel connected to them again.
No matter how you choose to spend the holiday season, know there is no right or wrong way to express your feelings or cope with your loss. In our experience, at Krause Family Funeral Homes, finding what works best for you, and being honest about your feelings, is what will set you on the right path towards healing. If you want to learn more about how we can help you, contact us today.