The holidays are a time of year steeped in tradition and joy. Or at least in theory.
This can magnify the loss of a loved one for many, which can make it a stressful time for all. When a loved one is grieving, it can be hard to figure out how you can best help them. How do you make sure that you are providing them with the support that they need? How do you make sure that you don’t say the wrong thing?
Your support matters
Just your support and a hug can mean the world to someone who is grieving. Don’t overthink it, just be there for them. Don’t be afraid to invite someone that is grieving to be part of the celebrations, but let them know that there is no pressure for them to attend.
Don’t deprive yourself
The holidays are a great time to recharge your batteries and enjoy yourself. Do not hold back in enjoying this time. If it makes it more comfortable, carve out time when you can celebrate and enjoy privately.
How you can help
Remember that you can’t fix someone’s sorrow. Grief is a process and it takes time and a lot of inner work. Also respect the choices of the individual when it comes to holiday celebrations. If they choose to be alone and it is safe for them to be alone, then let them. Grieving is exhausting, so give them the time to regain their energy.
Don’t avoid the person grieving
And don’t go to the other extreme and avoid them all together! Death and grief are part of our lives so we shouldn’t feel uncomfortable with it. Just treat the person with compassion, kindness and respect.
Take care of yourself
Remember to take care of your emotional and physical wellbeing too. Being around someone who is mourning can draw from your energy bank as well. Make sure to take some time yourself as well whenever needed.
Another helpful strategy is to ask the person grieving to volunteer in the community with you. Serving a higher purpose and feeling part of something bigger can be very healing.
Honor the person who is no longer here
Most importantly, find a way to honor the memory of the person lost. This can come in many forms like prepaying for the coffee of the person behind you in line at a coffee shop or donating money to a charitable cause that was close to the deceased person’s heart.
We are here to help
At Memorial Funeral Home, we are here for you if you need support. We have staff members who are very knowledgeable about grief and have been trained to offer help and resources.
Also, feel free to stop by the funeral home to pick up a free copy of “Grief and the Holidays” workbook.