The holidays present a special challenge for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Living in the midst of a society full of celebration while one is carrying deep sadness is exhausting. The holidays are full of memory triggers, threatening grief ambushes at any moment. And the sheer length of the holidays — beginning in November and not ending until January — can try the energy and endurance of even the most determined griever.
For many, the end of the holiday season comes as somewhat of a relief. However, the vestiges of sadness, heaviness and pure exhaustion will remain. The cold, bleak skies of January will do little to raise the spirits of the griever. But the slow pace of the winter may be a gift to those who have survived the emotional and physical intensity of the holiday season. If the griever can see these months as a time to rest and hibernate a bit, recovery from the emotional injuries of the holidays may be smoother and more complete.
Taking more time for quiet, relaxing pursuits; consciously planning and eating a healthier diet; incorporating some mild/moderate exercise into your daily routine; and spending time with selected, supportive individuals can help in the grief process after the holidays.
Normalize the continued sadness through the difficult winter months. Dreaming about new things you would like to try when your energy returns and the winter months end also can lift the spirits. The pain of the holiday season will eventually pass and bring renewed strength and courage.
If you need additional grief support and would like to speak with a bereavement counseling professional from our Pathways of Hope Grief Counseling Centers, please visit our website at: https://www.ohioshospice.org/pathwaysofhope/ and call a location near you.
Pathways of HopeSM Grief Counseling Centers provide a variety of services to the communities we serve. Support and education are provided by a team of counselors and social workers, all with significant experience and expertise in assisting grieving children, adolescents and adults.