For those of us who have lost a loved one, the upcoming holiday season may be especially difficult. Grief can come and go like a wave cresting in the ocean. At times, it consumes us, and other times we get opportunity to work towards healing. Practicing tradition and finding connection to others can assist in our healing process.
The traditions of gathering together in celebration, with community and through religious and cultural expressions are all meaningful opportunities. And yet, our emotions may cry out to avoid this amidst active grief. We may think it will hurt too much or stir up too much emotion, too much emptiness and loss.
And yet, grief calls for connection. Knowing that this season of family togetherness and celebration is coming may prompt us to do some thinking and planning. Who can I reach out to? Who can I ask to partner with me in this process of grief and recovery? What resources are available to me? In what ways can I honor the one I am grieving? Who can I connect to that knew my loved one, who may have a story to tell in remembrance or who may want to participate in my efforts? What family members can I make a plan with?
Having conversations, finding physical memento or symbols, creating your own tradition of remembrance are all efforts towards recognition of loss and reconnection.
It is likely that the intense emotions of grief and loss may get stirred up during the holiday season. Knowing this may spark you to proactively work on making a plan. And know that you do not need to go it alone.
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About The Author
Suzanne Devoti, LCSW is the clinical director and a therapist at Olive Branch Therapy Group. Suzanne works with children, adolescents, young adults, adults, and couples. Suzanne’s specialties include depression, anxiety, grief, couples, parenting, families, and women’s issues. If you are interested in working with Suzanne, contact us via email, phone or chat on our website.