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Holidays, Family Gatherings, Solitude and Grief

by Julia Rajtar, MAPS, BCC


It’s that time of the year again when we begin wondering who will make the turkey, or who will host the holiday, how will I get the decorations up or get gifts for the kids?  Just beginning to think about the holidays can be overwhelming and become clouded with intense anxiety and grief.


Plan Ahead by determining what it is you need to make these times less stressful.  Communicate Your Wishes with Others perhaps by holding a family meeting to discuss the upcoming event.  Acknowledge Your Limitations setting aside time to be still and plan activities to nurture yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually.  Acknowledge Your Loss and Grief by planning a new activity or ritual in memory of your loved one. Hang a special stocking, light a special candle, and express your thoughts and feelings.


Embrace the Memories and Create New Traditions and say their name.  Allow for pictures and stories to be shared.  Evaluate Your Shopping Plan going into a decorated store may be too much, even walking into the grocery store can be overwhelming.  Options include online shopping, shopping before decorations go up.  Accept Help From Others and Ask for Help From Others the best that could happen is people would say yes, the worst is that they say no.  Help allows you to meet some of the needs of the holiday and take care of yourself as well.



Additional Resources to assist with Holidays and Grief for adults and for families:




Hospice Foundation of America

TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program For Survivors)

Dougy Center (Resources adults and adults supporting children & teens) If you are a parent and your spouse died, what is realistic for you and your children? The Dougy Center offers a variety of articles, worksheets, ideas for having the conversation and planning with children or teens

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