Brickmont Assisted Living Blog

Celebrating the Holidays After the Loss of a Loved One

Posted by The Brickmont Assisted Living Team on Nov 15, 2021 8:00:00 AM | 4 minute read

Brickmont_Celebrating Holidays AFter Loss

The holidays are a wonderful time of year: festive parties, baked goods, the spirit of giving, and quality time with the people we love the most. However, these fun holiday staples can be overshadowed by feelings of grief, sadness, and loneliness for those who have lost a loved one.

Dealing with grief is undoubtedly hard, but grieving during the holidays, especially if it’s the first Christmas after the loss of a loved one, can feel almost unbearable. Every party, carol, decoration, and card only amplify your feelings and make your loved one’s absence all the more noticeable. 

In these times, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Whether they are experiencing their own grief or not, your family and friends are there to comfort and support you. It’s also okay to do things a little differently this year, and it’s okay to put yourself first during this difficult time. 

Brickmont Assisted Living is sharing some coping strategies for how to celebrate the holidays after losing someone special. 

DO: Allow Yourself to Feel

As strong or self-aware as you may be, the first Christmas (or birthday, anniversary, or other important holidays) after losing a loved one can evoke feelings you could never have expected. 

As overpowering as these feelings may be, it’s essential to recognize them and acknowledge them. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, and lonely, but it’s also okay to feel festive and joyful. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate.

DO: Reach Out to Family and Friends 

Reach out to your close loved ones and let them know what you need during this time. For example, if you’re worried you won’t be able to prepare meals for yourself, let them know. If you want them to come over and simply sit with you, let them know. You’d be surprised at how much people are willing to help a loved one in need—all you have to do is ask. 

DON’T: Expect Things to Be the Same This Year 

Things will be different this year, and it’s okay to acknowledge and accept that. It can be good to put some traditions on hold, especially the first year after a loss. Maybe you don’t go all out with decorations or host the annual neighborhood party, but instead have a smaller, more intimate gathering. You can also consider starting new traditions that honor your loved one in a special way. 

DON’T: Ignore Your Loved One’s Memory 

Thinking about your loved one not being there for the holidays this year can be heartbreaking, but there are many things you can do to honor and celebrate their memory. Here are some ideas for incorporating their memory into your holiday traditions: 

  • Make their favorite dish for your holiday meal 
  • Watch their favorite holiday movie with your family 
  • Donate time or money to a charity or organization that they were passionate about
  • Light a candle or place a photo on the mantle in their honor
  • Share stories about your loved one 

While it can be sad to think about your loved one no longer being there, sharing special stories and honoring their memory is an excellent way to feel grateful about the time you were able to spend with them. 

DO: Take Care of Yourself 

The holiday season can be draining enough, but grieving during the holidays can add a whole new layer of physical and emotional exhaustion. The events, the traveling, and the indulgent food can take a toll on your overall health, so it’s crucial to take care of yourself during this time. This doesn’t mean avoiding all your favorite holiday foods and missing parties to hit the gym, though. You can still enjoy all the holiday activities while balancing them with things like hydrating, getting enough sleep, and moving enough during the day. 

DON’T: Feel Bad for Enjoying the Holidays 

The holidays are meant to be a season of joy, festivity, and togetherness, and it’s okay if you enjoy yourself. You shouldn’t feel guilty for having fun; allow yourself to savor these small moments of joy and remind yourself that this is what your loved one would want. 

A New Way of Celebrating 

After losing someone you love, it can seem like you will never be joyful or celebrate again. And while the first Christmas after the loss of a loved one is difficult, it is possible to find moments of respite and joy. The holidays may not ever be the same, but there are ways you can learn to cope and find special moments to honor your loved one. We hope you found this article helpful in learning new ways to celebrate, honor tradition, and stay healthy this holiday season. 

Brickmont Assisted Living wishes you and your family a peaceful and meaningful holiday season. Visit our website to learn about our senior living communities in Atlanta, Georgia.

Topics: Holidays

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