Grief support during the holidays

Whether you experienced a recent loss or one that occurred some years ago, the holiday season can be especially challenging.

There is no right or wrong way to handle the holiday season after the loss of a loved one, but there are a number of ways you can cope with grief during the holiday season.

Eventually, the holidays will get easier, but only if you allow yourself to time to grieve.

Familiar traditions may be comforting, but it is important to acknowledge that the holidays will not be the same after a loss. Find comfort in new experiences that honor your loved one.

New traditions can also bring about a sense of ease, and scaling back holiday plans may be beneficial as well.

During a holiday dinner, place a lighted candle on the dinner table, leave an empty chair or say a few words of remembrance to incorporate their memory into the holidays.

Gift-giving can be challenging as you grieve the loss of a loved one. Consider alternate options to cope with grief.

According to the AARP, in times of loss we often want to do something that will make a difference. Consider making a donation in a loved one’s name to a charity or cause that he or she cherished.

Avoid trying to please everyone. Your sense of loss can be magnified during family gatherings, holiday traditions and meaningful events.

Scale back your holiday activities. You don’t have to face every event or tradition, and learn to say no. Less decorations, greeting cards or events will give you a break from the added stress at this time of year.

Tezak’s Home to Celebrate Life in Joliet also offers a year of grief support with a daily email message.

Enjoying the holidays does not mean you are being unfaithful to your deceased loved one. Just as you give yourself permission to mourn during the holidays, give yourself permission to have joy.

Tezak’s Home to Celebrate Life: 1211 Plainfield Rd., Joliet, IL 60435, 815-722-0524. www.tezakfuneralhome.com