Friday, November 19, 2010

Holiday Coping With Grief: Bereavement Support After a Loved One Dies (Hospice Video 2:27)

Some people dread the holidays. They view them as slices of life that bring painful reminders of losing a loved one. They associate holiday traditions with familiar people and places that are incomplete and no longer fulfilling. These bereavement suggestions offer support for those coping with grief during the holidays:

"Mourners have to decide the best ways they can adjust to the holidays. One option is to create new holiday traditions. If holidays were celebrated as a family, new traditions can be planned as a family, so everyone can have input. This will give family members an opportunity to discuss their feelings about the deceased loved one and possibly include something in the new tradition that commemorates that person in an uplifting manner. This could be a type of memorial that adds pleasure to holidays in the future, something that would have pleased the deceased.

Whether celebrating the holidays alone, with others, or not at all, people should always follow their hearts and do what feels best for them. There is no one way for everyone. There are different ways that work well for different people. Some people who found the holidays stressful, phony, or too commercial before their loved one died may want to redirect their holiday focus. They might choose to participate in an activity that is calmer and more meaningful to them such as volunteering at places where they can help others or sharing with others in another capacity. Others may want to celebrate alone or with a few friends, take a trip to another state or country, or just be involved with something they enjoy doing that may or may not have anything to do with the holidays, but everything to do with their own quality of life."

In this Hospice of the Florida Suncoast video titled “Hospice Care and Grief Counseling: Coping With Holidays After a Loved One's Death,” Sandi Sunter shares more suggestions for coping with holiday grief.

Frances Shani Parker, Author

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