Ho- Ho- Ho – it’s time to plaster a smile on your face and be happy. After all this is the season of family and memories. But what about those whose lives have been shattered by death and can’t seem to find joy in the most joyous season of the year?

 

It’s common for those who care about grieving to want to erase their pain and make Christmas special for them. Unfortunately, too often this results in hurt feelings, disillusionment, guilt and frustration. If you’re trying to help someone who’s grieving enjoy the holiday season and seem to be failing, try some of these tips instead.

Acknowledge Their Pain

It’s a fact -- The holidays bring sadness to the grieving .Nothing you do, or force them to do, is going to take away their pain. What will help? Acknowledging that they are hurting and allowing them the freedom to feel their feelings. This may get messy at times, but it’s a great way to help them get through the holidays and maybe even enjoy parts of it.

Lower Your Expectations

What you think a grieving person should do and what’s right for them may be very different. Don’t lay your own holiday expectations at their doorstep. For some this may mean scaling  back on activities for a few seasons; and for others it may mean getting rid of certain traditions altogether. That’s ok and necessary.

Ask Them What They Want to Do - But Don't Expect an Answer

It’s nice to ask the grieving person what they want or what they can handle, but don’t be surprised if they say “I don’t know” because they probably don’t. Be ok with that.

 

Offer an Exit Strategy

One of the nicest things anyone did for me last Christmas was giving me a special parking space at party. I didn’t know how long I’d stay at these friends get together, so he gave me a parking space that allowed for a quick retreat without a lot of questions or concerns. Grieving people need to know they can escape without a lot of fanfare; so make it easy.
 

Share Memories of their Loved Ones

Since my husband died, I have found a lot of people (including family), shy away from talking about him. They think it’ll make me sad when the opposite is true. What makes me sad is when people act like he never existed. I’m not going to “forget” he’s gone because you don’t speak his name. I know my reality I feel his loss every second of every day. But I love to hear people talk about him; to say his name and to tell me stories I didn’t know…. those are the precious moments I crave. So, share your memories, your pain and your love with those left behind, it’s the best gift you can give them this Christmas. 
 

Contact Us

If you're in need of assistance this Holiday season or know of someone who needs help, please contact us and let us know how we can help. If you would like to make a donation in any amount to help us help those who are in need, you can donate here. Thank you for your support. 

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