The holiday season is upon us – there’s lots of cheer being spread and family gatherings being organized. It’s typically a time of year where families get together and celebrate – to give thanks and to shower others with gifts of kindness.
This time of year can be especially difficult for those who are in the mourning or grieving process. It can also be difficult for anyone who feels a part of their family or community missing during this time even if they are caught off guard hoping their ‘grieving period’ was over.
This time of year can be especially lonely for parents who have lost a love one to miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss – but there are a few ways to make it a little bit kinder on you:
Talk: Don’t be afraid to talk about your child. Say their name in conversation. Don’t worry about ‘bringing the crowd down‘. You will be with your friends and family.
Know your limits: Don’t try to cram in every party, every gathering if you are just not physically or emotionally ready for all that. It can be tiring to just function during the grieving process so be kind to yourself and your energy level.
Be honest: Let your friends and family know how you are. Be honest with them if you are just not into helping with the dinner or if you need some space during the gathering for your thoughts.
Don’t feel bad if you have fun: Please read this one again. Don’t feel bad if you have fun. It is a common feeling among those of us who are navigating through perinatal grief. It’s important for you to remember that having fun does not mean forgetting – it does not mean you have moved on. Those moments are important to embrace and remember. There are times or will be times during the grieving process where you may feel that happiness won’t ever come again.
:: What are your tips for surviving the holidays through grief? ::
photo credit: adapted from coolmikeol via Flickr