It’s Thanksgiving season. Everybody is in full holiday mode and the tables are all set for yet another happy family occasion. This year, however, you’re not really in the mood for festivities. If anything, you feel rather empty this season, knowing that someone you love is no longer with you to join in the fun and celebration.
If you are still grieving over the loss of your loved one, there’s no need for you to rush through the process or force yourself to act as if everything is normal. This is especially true if the holiday triggers a wave of painful memories for you.
But how can you make it through Thanksgiving when just the thought of having to celebrate without someone special is enough to make things extra tough?
Ways for you to cope with grief this Thanksgiving
There’s never an easy way around dealing with pain, and just hearing words like “Stay positive” is definitely not going to be enough to help you get through this tough time.
So, what can?
Here are some things that other people just like you have found helpful when coping with grief. You don’t have to try all these things we’ve listed below, but we hope that you can make use of one or two ideas to get through the holiday season.
Talk it out
When we’re sad, we tend to bottle everything in. Sometimes, though, the best way to deal with grief is to talk our hearts out.
Why not try doing that this time? Talk about your loved one, and listen to the memories that your friends or family members may have of them. By focusing on the brightest parts of the life your loved one has lived, you will find reasons to celebrate their existence rather than focus on your loss.
It will also help you draw closer to those who are there to act as your emotional support as you process your grief.
Keep a journal
Have you tried writing your feelings down? Some people find journaling very helpful in releasing pent-up emotions, especially if they struggle with expressing themselves to other people.
If you have the same struggle, then expressing all the grief you feel on paper will help give you the release you need so you can cope with the pain of your loss. It will also help you process your emotions so they don’t overwhelm you. And yes, it’s okay to cry as you journal. You don’t have to act strong and tough in front of a sheet of paper.
Go over old photos
Old photos have a way of triggering a fresh wave of emotions, but they’re also a good way to reminisce the good times you’ve shared with your loved one. You may even remember funny moments captured in an awkward pose, and find reasons to laugh a little through your tears.
Live up to traditions
Just because your loved one is no longer physically present for Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you couldn’t do anything to honor their memory on such a special occasion. Continuing a tradition that your loved one has observed is a good way to do so.
If it’s too difficult to do this now, that’s okay. You can always resume the tradition next year when you’re feeling a little bit better. Or, you can start a new tradition altogether in honor of your loved one.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself
When we grieve, we often forget about ourselves. And it’s not uncommon for grieving ones to lose their appetite or stop doing things they used to enjoy. However, it is crucial that you take care of yourself especially when you’re feeling at your lowest point.
Even something as simple as going out for a short walk or stepping outside for some fresh air can already do wonders in lifting your spirits.
Find a Grief Support Group
Know that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking out help as you navigate through one of the most painful moments in your life. Remember, the burden of grief is lighter when shared with people who sincerely care about you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to people you trust.
At Roupp Funeral Home, we make it our mission to provide the bereaved with the comfort they need as they go through this painful time of their lives. Feel free to join a local or virtual Grief Support group such as GriefShare, or sign up for our monthly edition of our MyCareletter™.
MyCareletter™ is a collection of practical and thought-provoking information and articles written by grief and recovery professionals and sent each month to family and friends of the deceased for a full year to help you ease the pain of losing a loved one.
For more information about grief support, please reach out to us at 570-966-2402 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.