Living without a loved one can be heartbreaking any day of the year. But this is especially true on special occasions and holidays. When the ones we love are no longer with us, we may not feel much like celebrating.
"We [grieve] for our beloved dead every single day," Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, board certified in bereavement trauma told The Huffington Post. "Holidays and special occasions make their absence even more conspicuous."
According to the article on HuffingtonPost.com, the spring holidays, in particular, are difficult because they "are family-focused and symbolically centered on rebirth, renewal and growth."
So, what is one to do? How do you get through the holidays while grieving? Here are 12 good suggestions from The Huffington Post grief experts:
1. Be gentle with yourself.Take care of you.
2. Reserve a room for solitude.Or take a walk if you need some time alone.
3. Spend time with children ... or take a time out.For some, being with their kids or grandkids is just what they need. If it isn't, explain that you need a little space.
4. Meditate. Walk, hike, swim, sit in the park. Meditation comes in all forms.
5. Appoint an ally.Sometimes it helps to have someone to talk to.
6. Talk about how you're doing (it doesn't have to be 'OK').
7. Determine your limits ... and adjust.Don't decorate. Ask someone else to host. You can change traditions and rituals to suit your needs.
8. Drive your own car.You control when you arrive and when you leave.
9. Watch the alcohol.Alcohol is a depressant, so drink in moderation (or not at all).
10. Turn your heart outward. Giving your time in service to the community can be a great way to transform a sad day into something positive.
11. Ritualize.Create new traditions that honor your loved one.
12. Communicate.Talk to family and friends about how you're feeling, what you need from them.
Image Source: Flickr Creative Commons/aprillynn77