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Getting through the holidays

by Amanda Miller
| November 17, 2010 8:00 PM

Director of Community Development HONI

The holidays may bring joy, love and thankfulness for many of us, but they can also heighten the awareness of a "hole" in our heart and life if we have recently lost someone we love. It is not uncommon to miss our loved-ones more than usual and feel pain more deeply during the holidays.

These suggestions from other bereaved individuals can help you understand, cope with, and grow through the pain you may face during the coming holiday season.

• Consider doing only what is special and meaningful to you this year. Set limits and establish priorities, recognizing that your energy many be lower than normal.

• Decide for yourself how you want to handle the days that are special to you, keeping in mind that family get-togethers may be difficult. Make sure you accept your own needs and those of others and communicate your decisions clearly to friends and family.

• Plan your holiday shopping ahead of time or do it online or by catalogs. The holiday decorations, greetings and festivities that are characteristic of malls and stores may cause pain and distress. Also, having your shopping list ready can be helpful for when a god day comes along.

• Cut back on greeting cards, especially to those you will see over the holidays. If some friends are not aware of your loved one's death, you may want to include the funeral service card in your greeting card. Many find comfort in friends' concerned responses at this time of year.

• As the holidays approach, give yourself permission to share concerns with friends, relatives, or a counselor. Allow yourself the love and support you need to get through the holidays.

• Ask for and accept offers of concrete assistance with holiday chores and involve others in your holiday planning. Help friends and family help you by letting them know what you would like them to do.

Hospice of North Idaho is here to serve those who have been touched by loss. Our vision is to be a helping and healing presence in our community.

Let our resources on grief and loss help you and your children cope and find healing this holiday season. Our programs are available to the entire community at no charge.

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