Grieving the loss of a parent is always difficult, but the holidays can exacerbate the feelings. The challenge of celebrating family traditions while allowing for the sadness of death can make you feel as if you’re on a roller coaster of emotions. Don’t bury your grief through the holidays. Whether the burial services were last month, last year or even 10 years ago, accept that you may have to deal with your grief over the holidays.
Celebrating the Holidays Is Your Choice
Grief is universal, but there’s no right way or wrong way to grieve. Accept your feelings, regardless of how you think you “should” feel. If you aren’t up to putting up your holiday decorations, don’t force yourself. If you want to get out a few decorations, that’s okay too. You may have some good days over the holidays when you want to do something associated with the season.
Talk About What You Need
Making plans when you’re grieving is not easy. You may not know how you’ll feel on any given day, which is perfectly normal. Tell your friends and family that you’d like to join them, but you’d also like to take it day by day. Ask for space to be able to change plans at the last minute because you’re still trying to settle down and balance your feelings with routine. Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings.
Try to Plan Something
The feelings of loneliness and sadness can be overwhelming after the loss of a loved one. You may not be up to celebrating as you did in previous years, but you also shouldn’t plan to be alone. Make a new tradition of going out to eat instead of cooking at home. Maybe take a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Helping others during the holidays can be a good strategy. Volunteer or work so others can be home with their families. Just don’t lose yourself in grief.
The funeral home that provided services for your loved one has other resources that can help you through the grieving process.