New Traditions | Grieving Around the Holidays
Deep rooted holiday traditions form over years and years, much like the relationships we form with the people we celebrate those traditions with. When someone passes away around the holiday a relationship ends, and a tradition changes. Experiencing the death of someone close to you is something we never forget, and experiencing this around the holiday season makes it all the more heartbreaking. Grieving during the holiday season is extremely difficult as practically everyone around you is in the spirit of Christmas. When you spend these times typically with the people closest to you, one of those people not being there simply changes things. Here are a few tips for anyone in Western New York who is dealing with the loss of a loved one this holiday season.
Trust that Grief is Okay.
We understand that everyone else may be having a merry old time this time of the year, but grief doesn’t happen just due to time passing. It’s what you do with that time. Just because this time of the year is filled with holiday joy, does not mean you need to sacrifice your personal time to grieve. It can be tempting to avoid the pain, or even numb the pain with wine or artificial holiday cheer, but it’s okay to feel grief during this time, while surrounded by people who love you.
Focus on What You Can Control
Holiday season is stressful in its own right. Coupled with the death of someone close to you, it can be downright annoying. Christmas music in the elevator. Kids screaming about Santa at the Mall. Overhearing holiday plans by coworkers. Try to focus on what you can control only. You can assert your own needs before responsibilities of the holidays. Take time to yourself to understand this will get easier, but you need time for healing too. A good friend or family member who allows you to talk about your emotions will be crucial. You need to be able to pull back the curtain amongst the Christmas cheer.
Allow Your Emotions to Flow
Joy, guilt, sadness, sympathy, love, the feelings go on and on. You don’t need to judge yourself for feeling sad amongst others who aren’t going through what you are. You don’t need to put on a happy face just because of everyone else’s fun. But you’re allowed to laugh too! As free as you are to be sad about losing someone, you are free to enjoy the moments of freedom from grief. You don’t need to judge yourself for feeling fleeting moments of freedom. Don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself this holiday season while amongst loved ones. You have freedom to deal how you see fit, but feeling free to do so is an important step.
Start a New Tradition
When we have people close to us pass before or around the holidays, it means they won’t be with us from here on out. Is this sad? You’re darn right that’s sad! And that’s okay to feel the grief that comes along with having to start new traditions without the people who have always been there, or even created the traditions themselves. Think of this time of year not as an ending of old ways, but use the tradition of the times to help celebrate a new tradition that includes a commemoration to the person! Each year this new tradition can be a sense of memorium for them, and remind everyone of how much they meant to the family.
Losing someone around the holidays is difficult for everyone involved. We can be distracted, confused, hurt, angry, even relieved. The important thing to remember is that grieving and healing are instrumental to moving forward following the funeral and burial of a loved one. We aim to be a source of information for anyone needing help planning funeral arrangements, and we hope that our words here on our blog can possibly be of assistance to anyone dealing with loss.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us regarding any questions you may have regarding WNY funeral planning, or if you’d like to submit an online obituary that you can share digitally to friends and family please just reach out. We are always here to help!