Holidays are normally associated with thoughts of happy times, warm loving feelings, being close to those you love, and optimistic thoughts of the future.

For those that have experienced a loss of a family member or any traumatic event, holidays can seem more stressful and feelings of pressure, depression, and isolation can be magnified.

With planning and forethought, it is possible to get through these times.  We  hope the following suggestions are as helpful to you as they have been for other.

  1. Realize that this is a new holiday, unlike the holidays of the past.
  2. By including your absent loved one in the plans, they are not gone but very much with you.  Have a dinner or toast in his/her honor. 
  3. Visit and decorate the grave or memorial site of your loved one.  Talk with your loved one while you are there.
  4. Don't pressure yourself not to cry or show your emotions.  Others realize that you are experiencing the loss of your loved one.  Have faith in your friends and family that they will understand and be supportive of your feelings.
  5. Embrace your independence,  Do things the way you want to do them, not because your loved one wanted you to do them that way. 
  6. Don't wait for others.  Plan your own holiday. Make contact with friends and family.  Challenge yourself to see how different you can make this holiday in your special way.  If you decide to spend the holiday alone, make sure that you have all of your favorite food and other things around you that make you feel special.
  7. Your loved one is with you.  This is not an end to what you have known.  It is an added  new experience in your life's journey.
  8. You can make it special, because you are special.

Copyright 2000 Patricia Mischell & The Positive Living Center
 All Rights Reserved

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