I’m sure this isn’t one of the holly jolly posts you’re used to seeing around the holidays but it’s real.
Let me preface what’s to come by saying I’m Miss, freakin’, Christmas. I love the holiday season and Christmas more than I can express. I’m the girl that gets excited for Christmas in September.
So, imagine my surprise when my holiday month started off in a very tragic way.
Saturday, December 2 was a beautiful day – my mom, aunt, niece, and I went o Philly, ate Polish food, bought some yummy treats, and had an all around amazing day.
When we got home my niece and I started making cookies and worked on some homemade Christmas presents but then everything changed.
The police arrived at our door and informed my mom, brother, and I that my uncle, who lives with us, had been killed. My uncle, was hit by a car while crossing the street and died on impact. It also happened to be his birthday so he died on the day he was born.
To say we were devastated and shocked is the understatement of the year. Between the tears, anger, laughter, and sadness the last 10 days have been a complete whirlwind and blur.
And now that we’ve buried my uncle and celebrated his life it’s time to get back in the swing of things which is easier said than done.
So, how do you deal with death during the holidays?
I’m not an expert but I’ve dealt with major loss before so I have some frame of reference.
Here are my tips on dealing with death during the holidays.
Despite all the bad happening try to look on the positive side of things. Avoid dwelling on the bad. I’m a glass half-full kinda girl despite it all so I tend to look forward at what’s to come instead of focusing on the bad. I suggest counting your blessing and remember all you have to be grateful for. Staying positive can help you avoid feeling depressed, overwhelmed, and out of control.
Practice some self-care
Take some time for yourself – go buy something frivolous, throw on a sheet mask, go the spa, get a pedicure. Do something that’s completely selfish and just for you. Remember selfish isn’t a dirty work and putting yourself first isn’t something you should feel guilty for.
Surround yourself with family and friends
No one can make me laugh like my family and friends so being around them automatically makes me happier. Surrounding yourself with the people you love the most will help boost your mood and help you not feel so alone. Get together and do some fun holiday actives like baking, decorating, or shopping to help get you up and moving.
Don’t feel guilty for enjoying life and the holiday season
Guilt is major factor when it comes to dealing with death during the holidays. How can I celebrate and feel festive when my loved one isn’t here? Well, you can and you should. Would your loved one want you feeling sad, guilty, and depressed? No. So, listen to Christmas music, go to holiday parties and events, be merry, be bright, enjoy this special time of year, and don’t feel bad about it at all. Enjoying the season will help you heal and take your mind off your pain, which is a win win. Allowing yourself to feel joy and laughter doesn’t mean you’re forgetting your loved one.
Acknowledge your grief and allow yourself to feel angry, happy, sad
Burying your grief in booze or medication won’t solve your problems or make you feel better in the long run. Acknowledge when your sad, made, angry, etc. Talk about your feelings and emotions with your family and friends. Allow yourself to feel the gamut of emotions and eventually you’ll feel better instead of keeping it all bottled up.
Pray/meditate/journal it all out
Lately, I’m a big fan of praying and meditating. I like acknowledging what I’m grateful for in my life and what I want to draw into my life. Affirmations are another thing I’m very into because they help reaffirm the good in my life and what I have to be grateful and happy about. Praying/meditating is good way to get out my emotions privately. Journaling is also a good outlet for dealing with grief and emotions.
How do you deal with grief during the holidays?