Mourning the loss of a loved one is hard work and it can feel even tougher when you add holidays into the mix. Our holidays are laced with traditions, memories, and familiar faces. When someone is missing, what do you do? Celebrate as you always did or bury your head under the covers and hope the day and season quickly pass?
The holidays will come and go whether you feel like participating in them or not. How you handle specific holidays and what you decide to do is a very personal choice.
One friend planned carefully for the first Christmas holiday without his mom. He invited new friends for dinner but prepared different foods from prior years. He then treated everyone to a movie. He said he was so afraid the holidays would be sad and he was grateful he had a good time while exploring new ways to celebrate.
Another friend found it too difficult to divert from the traditional family favorites for Thanksgiving. She painstakingly recreated all the familiar dishes, seeing it as a way to honor her mother.
There are many ways to approach the holidays:
Whatever you choose to do, know that the day and season will pass and there will be new days ahead.
Robbie Miller Kaplan is an author who writes from a unique perspective as a mother who has lost two children. She has written How to Say It When You Don't Know What to Say, a guide to help readers communicate effectively when those they care about experience loss, now at a reduced price for e-books for "Illness & Death," "Suicide," "Miscarriage," "Death of a Child," "Death of a Stillborn or Newborn Baby," "Pet Loss," "Caregiver Responsibilities," "Divorce" and "Job Loss." All titles are in Amazon's Kindle Store.