Bereavement Corner: 3 Ways to Survive the Holidays after Someone Dies

The holidays can be amazing. They can also be tough for the broken-hearted. Do you miss someone who used to sit at your Christmas table?

Here are a few things you can do to help ease the pain during the holidays.

1. Tell the truth about yourself
Have you ever said, “I’m fine” when you weren’t? Sure, it can seem easier to pretend like you’re fine or isolate yourself. You might think talking about your loss is a burden to others, or be afraid that if you talk about it you’ll never stop crying.

I’ve had the same thoughts since my dad died and can tell you from experience, bottling up your feelings only prolongs the pain. If you’re sitting around the table and something funny happens, it’s okay to laugh. If you’re sitting around the table and you feel sad, it’s okay to cry.

Don’t know what to say? When you have a feeling of sadness or loneliness, etc., say to one of your trusted people, “In this moment, I feel very sad,” or very alone, or whatever you feel. That way, the moment can pass, and you can go to the next moment. That way you get it out.

Amazing things happen when you tell the truth: Other people feel safe to open up too, your kids get to see a healthy example of walking through grief, and you get relief too.

2. Write a PS Letter
You know how after someone you love dies you can’t stop thinking about things you wish you would have said, or moments you wish you could share? Grab a pen and paper and write a letter to them. Then, if you can find a safe person who will listen without offering advice or analysis, read it to them.

3. Pay attention to your actions
Also, consider paying attention to what you might do to avoid your feelings. Do you drink too much, overeat, lose yourself in television, or stay obsessively busy? Those are only a few of the ways people try to avoid their feelings. And while those activities often work temporarily, they prolong the emotional pain, and often make you feel worse.

This article is taken from the Grief Recovery Method Blog written by Allison James Henry. Our own Bobbi Schickler is in the process of completing her training to become a Grief Recovery Method Specialist.

Oftentimes people think that we are saying the Grief Recovery Method will take away sadness. We don’t even mean that. It’s normal to feel sad and miss someone.

If the holidays are hard for you, that's okay. I just hope you know that you don't have to feel pain every moment, at every holiday, forever. My wish for you is that you may find peace, and if you are still searching, that you would allow us to help.

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