Grieving During The Holiday Season

  • By Lisa Annis
  • 30 Nov, 2017
Grieving the loss of a loved one is a deep and difficult challenge at any time. But the holiday season can magnify your sense of loss and mourning. Family gatherings and seasonal events can be painful reminders of the absence of a loved one. At the same time, they can also be comforting rituals where you spend time with family and friends, focusing on good memories and trying to recapture your sense of joy. If you are mourning a loss of a loved one this year, here are some important things to keep in mind.
1. Only do what feels right. It's up to you to decide which activities, traditions or events you can handle. Don't feel obligated to participate in anything that doesn't feel doable. Grieving takes time. You are very vulnerable right now, so all you need to do is get through the day or week or season — in a healthy way. Try not to think much beyond that.
2. Accept your feelings — whatever they might be. Everyone takes his or her own path in grief and mourning. Some may try to avoid sad feelings; others will be bathed in tears. Some feel bad that they aren't up for enjoying a holiday; others feel guilt because they are feeling joy. However you feel – accept it. And accept the inevitable ups and downs: You may feel peaceful one moment and gut-wrenchingly sad the next. Try to stay in tune with your own highest truth and you will know how to get through the holiday without judging yourself or others.
3. Call on your family and friends. Talk with loved ones about your emotions. Be honest about how you'd like to do things this year — if you want to talk about those who have passed, then do so, and let others know it's OK. Take a buddy to events for support and create an "escape plan" together in case you need to bow out quickly. Read books about getting through the holidays after loss, and seek out support groups, lectures or faith-community events. Seek professional support from a therapist. Stay in touch with others who are grieving via online groups and connections with friends.
4. Focus on the kids. Many holidays place special attention on children, and it often helps to focus on their needs. Realize that your choices around getting through the holidays may affect the children in your family. If you withdraw, they may not understand why you don't want to join family festivities. Perhaps you can participate in the family rituals or gatherings that are most important to the kids, and excuse yourself when you reach your limit.
5. Plan ahead. Sometimes the anticipation is worse than the actual holiday. Create comforting activities in the weeks approaching a holiday so that you have something to look forward to rather than building up a dread of the pain the holiday could bring. New activities might be easier, but familiar traditions might be comforting as well — do what feels best for you. Surrounding yourself with positivity can be very helpful.
6. Give. It's amazing how in times of grief, sometimes the biggest comfort is to give to others. In times of loss, we often want to do something that will make a difference. If you've lost a loved one, gift-giving at holiday times may be a challenge. Shopping for gifts and seeing the perfect gift for someone you know you will never be able to give a gift to again can be devastating. Shopping online may be a better option for you. You might purchase something that symbolizes the person or time before your loss and donate it to a needy family. Or make a donation in a loved one's name to a charity or cause he or she cherished.
7. Do something different. Acknowledge that things have changed and the holiday will not be the same as it was ever again. Accepting this will help manage expectations. Plan new activities, especially the first year after the loss. Go to a new location for family celebrations, change the menu or go out to eat, volunteer, invite friends over, attend the theatre, travel … create new memories. Many families return to their usual routines and rituals after the first year, but some enjoy incorporating their new experiences permanently.

Grieving is a process. If you are having a hard time this holiday season, there are many local resources available throughout the Hamilton area, check out this link

http://www.hnhbhealthline.ca/listServices.aspx?id=10868

 to find the one closest to you. If you need assistance, feel free to contact us for more information. ABC – providing closure, comfort and peace-of-mind for over 10 years.

ABC Answers

By Lisa Annis 30 Nov, 2017
Grieving the loss of a loved one is a deep and difficult challenge at any time. But the holiday season can magnify your sense of loss and mourning. Family gatherings and seasonal events can be painful reminders of the absence of a loved one. At the same time, they can also be comforting rituals where you spend time with family and friends, focusing on good memories and trying to recapture your sense of joy. If you are mourning a loss of a loved one this year, here are some important things to keep in mind.
By Lisa Annis 31 Oct, 2017

Okay, so the idea of planning your own  funeral arrangements  may give you the creeps. We totally get it. However, planning ahead for your final farewell isn’t just a smart choice—it can also be a fun and fulfilling process that offers you and your loved ones peace of mind.

Here are just a few of the valuable benefits you’ll enjoy when you pre-plan your cremation service

  • It gives you a chance to create the service you want, down to the smallest detail.

Do you want a formal memorial service at your church or a more laid-back celebration at the local park? Do you want a pianist to play your favorite classical pieces or would you rather your friends and family dance the night away to Elvis and The Beatles? This is your chance to spell out exactly what you want—down to the exact hue of the flowers and the flavor of ice cream served at the reception.

  • It allows you to make your wishes known so your family members won’t have to guess.

Do your loved ones know what kind of final service you want? Do they know that you prefer cremation over burial? Do they realize you want your cremains scattered in your favorite fishing spot? If your family isn’t sure about what you want, they may end up arguing over the details when the time comes. By putting your precise wishes in writing now, you’ll guarantee this won’t happen.

  • It removes stress and emotional burden from those you love most.

Over the years, we’ve seen far too many families struggle to pull together a last-minute funeral—and it’s never pretty. Don’t leave your loved ones to hastily plan your final arrangements during such a painful time. By planning ahead, you will free your loved ones from this heavy burden so they can focus on what’s most important: remembering, reflecting and healing.

  • It locks you into today’s prices and saves your family money.

It’s no secret that funeral costs continue to rise year after year, right along with inflation. When you pre-fund your final arrangements, it allows you to freeze all costs at today’s prices and enjoy significant savings. By pre-planning and paying ahead for your cremation, you’ll take comfort knowing your loved ones won’t struggle to pay the potentially exorbitant cost when the time comes.

As you can see, planning ahead isn’t just something you do for yourself—it’s also something you do for the people you love. Ready to discover the ultimate peace of mind? Plan your cremation in advance with the friendly and professional staff at ABC. Need assistance? Contact us today! You can even download a FREE copy of your Funeral Will form here .


By Lisa Annis 15 Sep, 2017
Funeral trends have certainly changed over the last decade, with many shorter viewings, more people opting for cremation, and a boom in celebration of life ceremonies. When it comes to ways to honour and cherish the life of a loved one, memorial gardens and trees are a beautiful and lasting reminder in the many months and years to come.
By Lisa Annis 20 Jul, 2017
Today, the ability of animals to provide comfort to humans in times of grave illness or grief is recognized by medical professionals, therapists, and hospice workers around the world. People who are facing death or mourning the loss of a loved one are often calmed and reassured by the loving companionship of a pet.
By Lisa Annis 14 Jun, 2017
Over recent years there has been more and more fascinating and unexpected ways to memorialize loved ones who have passed. Recently at ABC, we had a special request from a client to send their loved one’s ashes to Switzerland where they will compress and super-heat the cremated ashes and turn them into a man-made diamond that can be worn, cherished, and passed on for generations!
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