Coping Through the Holidays
After the loss of a loved one, the Christmas holiday season isn’t the joyous time it once was. Holidays & Hope is designed to help you get through the holidays. It is filled with many different coping strategies and is available online at www.madd.ca or by calling Victim Services Manager Gloria Appleby at 1-800-665-6233 ext. 222.
Holiday coping tips:
Christmas is a difficult holiday to cope with after loss. Here are some tips that work for some people. Try those that you feel may work for you, and discard the ones that you don’t
think will help. It’s not a choice of pain or no pain, but how you will manage the pain for that day.
- Light a special candle for your loved one.
- Attend a special Loving Memory Tree service and be with others who are suffering with loss.
- Create something special for your loved one: light a tree in the garden for him/her; make a memorial donation to his/her favourite charity.
- Religious services: consider attending the service at a different time/location; perhaps attending a completely different service.
- Continue to hang a stocking for your loved one: fill it with little things he/she loved and give it to a needy child who wouldn’t otherwise have a stocking.
- Change tradition: perhaps consider changing the time you open gifts; where/how you spend the holidays; perhaps go someplace warm (remember though, your grief will still be with you).
- Tree or no tree: talk to the rest of your family and decide what is best for this season; you may change your mind for next year.
- New decoration: place a decoration (perhaps an angel) on the tree in memory of your loved one and add to it each year.
- Shopping: pick off hours to shop; make a list; if shopping is too difficult try giving cash or asking a friend to pick a gift up for you.
- Plan ahead: If you don’t think you can make a special function, offer to “show up” but explain you may not be able to stay for long.
- Do what is right for you: if you need quiet time – take it; if you need to cry – cry; talk about your loved one; let people know what it is you feel you need.