Getting Through the Holidays with Suicide Grief

Getting through the holidays after any loss can be difficult, particularly a loss occurring from suicide. The holidays become a time of making memories, and sharing stories. Participating in these traditions after the loss from suicide can be hard on families particularly within the first year.
Some people who have experienced the death of a loved one from suicide fear being around family or friends who may ask questions, or they are anxious that others will avoid them, or will be uncomfortable. Others will not plan on getting out of bed in order to avoid the holidays all together.
It is an important part of the grief journey to allow ourselves to participate in these times of tradition. Sure, some things will not be the same, but what can you still do to keep your traditions around? What new memories can you make that may include you loved one in remembrance? The following are some ideas that may help you get through the holidays:
1. Don’t spend your holidays alone. Try to make plans with family and / or friends.
2. Make your loved ones favorite food.
3. Be prepared for the strong emotions that may come with the season. Cry if you want to. Let others know that you are not sure how you will feel and ask for their patience.
4. Take time off of work if you can. Don’t replace your grief by keeping over-busy.
5. Remember that often, the anticipation of the holidays can be harder and create more anxiety than the special day(s) itself.
6. Use your loved one’s name and let others around you know that it is ok for them to say their name as well.
7. Make a handmade gift while thinking about the person who has died.
8. Give a gift in the name of your loved one.
9. Light a candle. Something as simple as lighting a candle and letting it stay lit as you celebrate the day can remind yourself and others in a quiet way of those you miss.
10. Attend a remembrance ceremony. Many organizations provide events at holiday time in order for those who would like to remember.
If anyone would like to share what they have done in order to get through the holidays after a loss from suicide, please let us know. Sharing these stories can help others get through their own hard times. For more information about getting through the holidays, go to our blog: http://www.healingthespirit.org/the-grievers-holiday-bill-of-rights/
Take Care of yourselves and each other.

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