It’s hard to move through the holidays after you’ve lost someone. The calendar doesn’t stop, and the obnoxious holiday cheer will be there to assault you at every turn. You can’t avoid it, but you will get through it. I’ve already weathered my first Christmas, so I thought I’d share what I’ve found to be helpful.
Here are three ways you can avoid making someone’s first Christmas post-loss more painful.
- Don’t tell them how to celebrate- They’re currently braving unchartered territory, and there are no rules for how they should act. Carrying on the same traditions feels almost disrespectful, while opting out of the holidays altogether may not be a decision that’s supported by their family and friends. However they decide to handle their grief, understand that it’s not about you, and love them anyway.
- Don’t avoid discussing the person- I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s an important one. Talking about the person who isn’t with you this season brings tears, and tears bring healing. They aren’t something to be afraid of.
- Do include them- There’s a high probability that they’ll just say “no”, but ask anyway. It feels good to be thought of and included, even if they have zero intention of actually showing up.
The holidays can be rough for everyone. Whether it’s trying to avoid talking politics with your uncle from Alabama, or explaining to your aunt for the 85th time that Janet is NOT just your roommate, the holidays pack a special little punch for each and every one of us.
While this year may not be merry, I promise, what lies ahead is bright.