Six Tips For Celebrating the Holidays After a Loss

How lucky I am to have had someone that makes saying goodbye so hard. Paraphrased from Winnie the Pooh

While some of us are joyfully getting ready for the upcoming holiday season, others are dreading the thought. Whether you’ve had a recent loss or one years ago, the holidays can trigger grief and sadness. Here are a few tips for dealing with this time of the year.

  1. Let others know your wishes. Be clear about what you do and don’t want to attend or participate in. This isn’t the time to be a pleaser. Take care of yourself.
  2. Celebrate traditions…or not. If it feels right to do the things you’ve always done, carry on. If creating new traditions works for you, let others know your ideas and follow through.
  3. Give to a charity in the name of your mom. In this season of gift giving, this is a way to feel you’ve given a gift to your loved one who is gone.
  4. Pass on favorite recipes. One way to create a legacy is to teach others traditional recipes that you learned from your mother. This is particularly satisfying if your children or grandchildren never knew her. 
  5. Attend uplifting events. Find a Christmas play, cantata, or child’s school event to attend. 
  6. Keep it simple. Getting tired and entering into the realm of overwhelm will take away the few emotional reserves you have accumulated. It’s just fine to forget the cards or cookies. Rest when you need to and have a relaxed holiday season. 

Affirmation: I can handle the holidays.

Coaching questions: What is your plan for handling this season? Don’t leave it to chance. Consider what will work for you. Do you have a confidante? Don’t hesitate to contact her.

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Celebrating Those We Have Lost

When we die, we will turn into songs, and we will hear each other and remember. Rob Sheffield, American journalist

One way I celebrate my Nebraska roots and my dad’s life is by watching University of Nebraska football. In case you don’t know, Nebraska fans are the twelfth man on the field and the loudest, most passionate, best informed fans in college football. When the stadium in Lincoln is filled, as it has been since 1962, it becomes the third largest city in the state. Water pressures drop during half time.

Sometimes maintaining traditions, whether that means making a certain recipe, growing a particular flower, or watching a special sports team, is the best way to celebrate those we have lost. It’s game day. Go Big Red!!

Affirmation: I celebrate.

Coaching question: What tradition do you celebrate in memory of a loved one who has died?