Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The winter holidays are generally perceived as "the most wonderful time of the year." During the holiday season, many of us will gather with family and friends to celebrate long-kept traditions and reminisce of days gone by. But if you are facing grief after the death of a loved one, the holidays may be sad and painful. How do you cope? Honor your emotional life, not others' expectations.
St. Cloud Hospital chaplain, Nicole Schmidt, encourages people to set boundaries on expectations for holiday gatherings that honor and give room to grieve. It might be helpful to have a family meeting to discuss what you might need to honor your emotional life. It is important that you say what you want and what you need. What are your fears about this holiday season? That you will cry or be lonely? Name your fears and share them with someone you trust.
Observe the day in a way that has meaning for you
Holidays often center on certain traditions and rituals. You may find that traditions are an important way to keep your loved one's memory alive. However, it may be more comforting to develop new rituals to help lessen the pain and immediacy of the loss.
"Honoring what is in your heart is what is important during the holidays and throughout the year. Express how you feel with someone you trust," said Schmidt.
Sometimes, these otherwise joyful gatherings are tinged with sadness as families struggle to deal with the loss of a loved one. To help people cope with grief, CentraCare Health System offers "Grief & Bereavement Services" on its Web site. The Grief & Bereavement Services Web section offers support to those who are grieving and also provides information about how to help someone who has experienced a loss.
* what is grief;
* myths and facts about grief;
* life after a loss;
* when to seek help;
* a guide for survivors; and
* additional grief resources.
To learn more, visit www.
services/grief/index.html, or go to CentraCare.com, Programs & Services and click on Grief & Bereavement Services.