70th AnniversaryNovember 29, 2018
This holiday season may warm hearts with excitement and joy, but what if you recently lost someone you loved, or are missing those who died years ago? How do you celebrate at a time when the feelings of grief and loss are so overwhelming? How do you go out, entertain and celebrate when you’re feeling empty and lonely?
When you have lost someone special, your world loses its celebratory qualities. Holidays only magnify the absence. The need for support may be the greatest during the holidays. Pretending you don’t hurt or it's not a harder time of the year only heightens the emotional impact.
Though grief is hard to experience, it’s essential to remember that grieving is a healing journey out of the pain. By embracing grief, feeling grief, and giving grief a healthy outlet, you can move through it and come out of it stronger than you were before. Green Hills Memorial Park understands just how hard that can be. Here are a few tips and strategies that we've found helpful in including your missed loved one and your loss into the holidays.
Acknowledge Those Who Have Passed On
It can be very beneficial to participate in a related holiday ritual in your loved one's memory. You can say a prayer about your loved one before the holiday dinner. You can light a candle in their memory and keep it burning throughout the season. You can create an online tribute for them, set their place at the table, watch their favorite movie or sport, write them a love letter, carry on their favorite holiday traditions, or share a favorite story of them with your family and friends. A meaningful favorite of those attending our Let It Snow Holiday Festival, is to create an ornament in memory of their loved one and place it on the tree as part of the Memorial Tree Lighting Ceremony.
Only Do What Feels Right
It’s up to you to decide which activities, traditions or events you can handle. If the thought of many holiday activities feels painful, overwhelming or inappropriate this year, cutting back may help. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t do more than you want, and don’t do anything that does not serve to restore your soul.
Create comforting activities in the weeks approaching a holiday so that you have something to look forward to rather than building up a dread of the pain the holiday could bring.
Call on your family and friends. Talk with loved ones about your emotions. Do allow others to help. We all need help at certain times in our lives and inviting others to be there is a forward step on the path of healing.
Host A Memory Meal
Organize an intimate dinner gathering in celebration of your loved one and invite his or her closest family and friends. The guests can be asked not to bring food, but rather, to bring their most touching or humorous story of the departed. Spend the time enjoying good food, great company, and the best of memories. Reliving warm and funny stories in close community with those nearest to your loved one works wonders upon a grieving heart.
Do Something Different
Plan new activities, especially the first year after your loss. Take a trip, eat something different for your holiday meal, or skip it altogether. If you feel that an old holiday tradition will be too much for you, let family and friends know you'd like to do something else this year. Ask them to help with ideas for beginning new holiday traditions this season.
We hope these tips will help with your journey in the grieving process and will serve to bring a measure of healing during this holiday season.
From all of us at Green Hills Memorial Park