Today a guest post from Lucille Rosetti. Christmas is coming and this can be a difficult time for those who are grieving.
The holiday season is rapidly approaching, but you hardly feel the same enthusiasm as you used to. When a loved one passes away, it’s hard to believe that you can ever truly feel the same joy you felt when they were alive. You look around and see friends, strangers, and even other family members moving on with their lives business as usual. You might wonder how you could ever return to normal now that a giant piece of your world has gone missing, but you shouldn’t give up hope just yet. The holidays are a time when people come together, when we find joy in even the most unexpected of places. Don’t give up on the season before it begins. Here is some advice to help you keep your spirit bright.
Find the Love
In the weeks and months following a loss, there is a temptation to shell up within your own grief. Being around others might just be too difficult at first, and there’s nothing wrong having your alone time at first, but there will come a time to open up and begin filling your life with new love. You may think that life is cruel, having to deal with your loss and pain in a time that’s supposed to be merry. Why not look at the bright side? During the holidays, everyone’s spirits will be on the rise, and joy can be contagious. Surround yourself with friends and family during this time of year, and let their love lift you up from your lowest point. Go out with them, go to parties, go shopping, have dinners. Hug more, and understand that it’s okay to still feel upset as long as you don’t let it control your life. Even owning a pet can help you find new love for living things, and the bond you share with your fluffy companion can bring light into a time that feels so dark. Owning a pet will also open new doors for you, help you meet new people, and of course give you a good reason to leave the house.
Fill Your Calendar
The holidays are a great time of year to get out of the house. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, there will be loads of parties and events all around. Don’t be afraid to get out there and enjoy the season. Spend your weekends shopping for loved ones, and make all of your gifts extra special this year. If your place of work is having an annual party, go ahead and show up and see just how your colleagues really act when they are off the clock. Anytime friends or family members offer you to go sledding, or caroling, or even to see a movie, give it a chance. The more you fill your time with people and laughter, and holiday spirit, the less time you spend running over painful memories in your head. Even doing things on your own can help you get your mind off your loss and appreciate the beauty that comes along with the winter holidays. Spend your evenings driving around and enjoy the decorations on all of the different homes, and if you don’t feel like getting out so late, pop in a classic holiday movie and enjoy a mug of hot chocolate.
Make Peace with Yourself
Lastly, the holiday season is about making peace. Neighbors shake hands and share meals together, and feuding family members let bygones be bygones. Now is perfect time for you to make peace with yourself. So often when we lose a loved one we ask ourselves, “Why couldn’t it have been me?” Survivor’s remorse can really do a number on all of us, and send us into further depression over losing someone. You need to accept the fact that some things in life is out of your control, and that it really isn’t your fault. Filling your season with extra love, and keeping yourself busy with friends and family is great, but remember the love you need the most is from your own self.
Lucille’s blog is The Bereaved.