The holiday season brings most of us joy, laughter, and time spent with those we love. For those coping with the loss of a loved one, the season can bring on the challenge of masking feelings such as sadness, loneliness, and an overall need to escape from the celebrating going on around us.
Smells, sounds, and past traditions can magnify the sense of loss you feel. Despite these feelings and changes around you, there are a number of ways you can honor your loved one during the holidays.
Things to consider:
- Keep talking about your loved one as if they are still alive. Talking about past traditions during the holidays that your loved one always did, or even stories, is a way to remember the good times that you had with them. It will also allow others to hear the story through your eyes and help them cope with the loss too.
- Try to make one of their special dishes that they used to make during the holidays or one that they used to truly enjoy. Yes, it may not taste the same way it did when your loved one made it, but it allows you to still continue to live through them by making the dish that they were known for/that they loved.
- Gather with friends/family as your normally would. You’ll be surprised about the stories you didn’t know about your loved one and stories that friends/family didn’t know about your loved one.
- Still decorate the same way you always do and bask in the warmth of the season. The holidays are always hard after the loss of a loved one but they would want you to still be able to feel the “holiday cheer”.
- Last but certainly not the least, know that it is okay to cry and “hate” the holidays. Holidays are cherished times to be spent with family and friends and it is very hard not to notice that your loved one is no longer around. For that reason, and not only that reason, it is okay to cry. Being around loved ones will provide you support as you continue to grieve and may help them release their own sadness from the loss.
Miranda earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Aurora University in 2010. She worked as a medical social worker for 7 years before making a change to work in Hospice with Transitions Hospice in May of 2017. Miranda enjoyed her switch to hospice care and loves providing companionship and support to all the patients and families that she currently works with.