The first holiday (actually any important day) without a loved one is different. Feelings of loss and emptiness are natural since holidays may magnify it all. You are changed forever by the event that happened. There is no good or bad way to celebrate the holidays, just pretending that nothing has happened is not the greatest idea.
Sharing stories and remembering good and bad times will bring comfort at this difficult time of year. Talking about the deceased, singing a song together, remembering the funeral, lighting a candle, baking a cake, sharing a meal… will help others to recognize the importance to remember your special person.
Create a ritual
Rituals help find meaning in the memory of your loved one who has died
– writing a poem
– playing a special piece of music
– hang a stocking and invite your family members to write special memories to place in the stocking
– attend a holiday service (online)
– make a scrapbook
Sometimes people do not understand the importance for you to include your loved one in festivities. It’s always a great idea to tell others about what you need. Communicate your desires and feelings. It’s helpful for everyone.
Here are some ideas on how to communicate:
– What I am looking forward to is…
– What I am not looking forward to is…
– To make the day feel special to me I would like to…
If your family has certain traditions for certain holidays, it might be best to discuss what will happen this year…. do you want to keep your traditions or is this an opportunity to change or resume. A family tradition does not have to be celebrated exactly as it always was.
Accept help from others
It is only natural to be wanting to be alone. It requires strength to let others help you. Socializing is important, even though it is trough social media and not in person.
Be good to yourself
Eat healthy, sleep enough, make a daily walk, do what you like to do and avoid stress.