Everything changes when someone we love dies. Which is strange, because the rest of the world keeps rolling along, same as it ever was. Yet to us everything feels different. A person who was central to our lives is now gone. A person who colored our experiences with love and laughter. Their absence is keenly felt, especially during the holidays. So how do we get through that first difficult Christmas without someone we love? Here are some suggestions that may help you cope.
Do something different. It may help you & your family to mix up the routine a bit and do something different and exciting. If rituals that your family previously observed every year are a reminder of how things have changed, try something new. It may be a welcome change.
Do something the same. Hang up their favorite decorations. Make their favorite food. Find ways to remember special memories spent with your loved one who has passed. Take comfort in the familiar.
Do something to help other people. If you can find the emotional energy it can be very meaningful to engage in community service during the holidays. Find a way to support the community and share kindness with other people. It feels good to connect with others and know that you are helping make the world a brighter place.
Talk about it. Tell the stories of your loved one. Talk about the emotions you are experiencing. Laugh. Cry.
Keep it simple. The hustle and bustle of the holidays can be overwhelming at any time, and even more so when one is emotionally drained. Eliminating extra work or activity can help you rest and focus on what is really important, like time spent with loved ones.
Take a break. Some people find that they need to hide out and hibernate from the world for a while. If you feel like you have nothing left to give then do what you need to in order to engage in some self care. Skip a party. Sleep.
Look for the light. Christmas is a season of love and light. You see it in the happy faces of children, hear it in the music. The twinkling lights shine in the cold dark of winter and can help brighten your heart during this difficult season. Even in the midst of sadness there is still beauty in the world. It may take some searching to find it, but it is there. May you experience moments of peace and joy this year as you continue on your journey.
Jennifer Roberts Bittner
Certified Celebrant/ Life Tribute Specialist
Morrissett Funeral and Cremation Service
6500 Iron Bridge Rd.
N. Chesterfield, VA 23234