by Angie Schflett
Grief over the loss of a loved one is considered to be a deep and a difficult challenge – regardless of what time of year that it occurs; however, coping with grief over the holidays tends to magnify the overwhelming sense of loss and immense mourning that is experienced. This is especially true when it comes to kids. Gatherings of family members and seasonal-based traditions and events are often considered to be exceptionally painful reminders that our loved one or loved ones are absent from our lives. If your family has recently experienced a loss, it is important that you pull together to comfort one another. In this guide, you will be introduced to a few steps that will aid you in parenting and coping with grief over the holidays.
1. Embrace the Past by Recreating the Present
If you and your family have endured a loss this holiday season, it is important to know and understand that the adjustments associated with your loss will be exceptionally difficult for everyone involved. Each family gathering, each family tradition will remind all of you of the absence of your loved one; however, instead of focusing on the loss, try to focus on the memories that you have of your loved one and find comfort in one another. You must commit to embrace the past, and recreate the present. You must overcome the expectations of what the holidays should be and recreate what they are now that your loved one has passed on. Simply acknowledge the loss and express appreciation for all of the time that you had with your loved one or loved ones. Then, work to create new traditions and gatherings that involve those that are still living. Honor the deceased while celebrating the living. This is the absolute best way to embrace the past and recreate the present. By taking this step, the future will be brighter for you and your kids.
2. Accept the Inevitable
Despite the fact that the holidays are considered to be a joyous and exciting time, it is inevitable that you and your loved ones will experience anger, sadness, and despair. You must accept the inevitable. Regardless of age, no one should be expected to ignore the feelings that they have simply because the holidays are in full swing. You should not judge, nor should anyone judge you for feeling how you feel. Even if you feel a sense of joy due to the season, do not feel guilty. Remember, your loved one or loved ones would not want you to experience any negative emotion around the holidays; however, if you do, it is acceptable and to be expected. Simply accept the inevitable when suffering through grief. That is, you will experience a vast array of emotions and that is completely acceptable.
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