This Saturday, November 18th we will be hosting our annual Holiday Remembrance in which we honor those families who are grieving the death of a loved one during this past year with a service of remembrance. It is hour privilege to provide this time for families and friends to prepare for the coming holidays while still grieving the reality that someone we love will no longer be here to celebrate the holidays. But, the holidays are coming!
I want to share some practical suggestions for grieving families preparing for the coming holidays.
1. Be intentional about selecting people with whom you will spend the holidays
Keep in mind that some of those people may be grieving with you. There are those who don’t know how to relate to you. There are even those who will say some seemingly stupid things. It is important that you spend holiday time with people you feel truly get where you are emotionally.
2. Get with your family members to discuss your holiday plans
Attempt to have a face-to-face meeting. However, you can include distant family members through Skype. Make sure to include the children. No matter the age, they will need to be able to share their feelings and feel a part of the process.
3. Think About your family traditions
Some traditions may suddenly become difficult. Talk with your family about those traditions that might cause you the most stress and anxiety. Be honest about the things that you just might not have the energy to do; things like writing and sending Christmas cards, decorating your home or holiday baking. This would be a good time to allow family members to share their heartfelt thoughts about the family traditions as well.
4. Be sure and take care of yourself during the holidays
Think in advance about how you will react when the grief and stress is overwhelming. Is there a special friend or family member you can call? Will you want to attend a support group; maybe begin writing a journal. Remember that exercise can be your best friend. Give yourself permission to cry, even if its in the food court at the mall.
5. Allow your deceased loved one to still be a part of your holidays
Be sure and speak your loved one’s name during the holidays. If you are at a point where you feel you can, carry on one of their favorite traditions. Let your friends and family members know that it is OK to mention your loved one’s name as well.
The holidays are coming. But, they don’t have to run over you!
Blessings & Peace this holiday season.
Greg Webber, Director
Morrissett Community Care & Aftercare
Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service
6500 Iron Bridge Rd.
N. Chesterfield, VA 23234
Serving the Richmond area since 1870