When the Holidays Aren’t So Merry and Bright…

Whether you’re a younger person who has recently lost a parent or grandparent, someone missing the comforting presence of a life partner or child, or, yes, one of those missing dear pets, opens a new window, the holidays can be hard. Something—someone is missing. There’s a hole in your heart. You know why. Oh, you know why. You don’t hear the sparkling music at all, or you do and find it forced and irritating. The smoke of memory casts a pall on this year’s festivities. It is not the same. It will never be the same. It can be good eventually, but, for right now, you do need to take time for yourself.

Toning down the holidays

SeniorNavigator, opens a new window, a partner with Central Rappahannock Regional Library in providing information of interest to seniors and their families, recommends considering lowering the volume on the festivities. Here, opens a new window, they provide a useful set of lists that show how to rationally approach what is for most a celebratory season when you are grieving. Should-you turns into do-you-want-to … send out cards as usual, thin the list, send a holiday newsletter instead, or drop that chore, at least for now? Likewise how to embrace (or put at a distance) traditions such as cooking special meals and treats, socializing, gift-giving and so on.

The choice is yours, and, in the wake of losing control when a loved one has died, it is comforting to know that you do still have some choices, and one very appealing choice when grief is new is to do nothing at all. Grieving is an emotional situation that on some level may never really end.  But the pain passes (mostly), the dreadful pall lifts (mostly), and you will probably find yourself in a while slowly coming round to celebrating the holidays again. We have gathered some books that can act as guides and comforts during your difficult days and nights in our list.

CRRL Health: Coping with Grief

The death of a beloved one is an incredibly stressful life event. Here you will find resources that may help you cope during this difficult time.

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If carrying on doesn’t seem like an option, it is time to deal with your depression. Consult a doctor at your first opportunity. Even your family physician should be able to get you started towards relief. If your feelings are very sharp and acute, please call the lifeline, opens a new window at 1-800-273-8255.

Being a friend…

Are you worried about someone who is bereaved but not sure what to do? SeniorNavigator offers these suggestions, opens a new window on being there for someone who is missing a loved one.