Holidays are the best time of the year for families to meet and celebrate. The presence of everyone you love is what makes this season so much fun. But when a loved one has died during the year, it can be hard to imagine spending the next holiday without them. How do you celebrate your first holiday without your loved one?
Truly, it can be challenging if you’re still in the grieving process. You may not think that holidays can be fun anymore, especially because they bring back the memories of the person who died. Even so, it’s possible to manage, depending on the type of holiday.
Here are six ways to help you get through your first holiday without your loved one.
1. Decide If You’re Ready to Celebrate
Let’s say you’re not a holiday person, or you’re not looking forward to the next holiday because you’re still in the grieving process. Whatever the case, seeing everyone enjoying themselves with their families can awaken feelings of loss. If attending holiday parties tends to make you feel sad, you don’t have to force yourself to celebrate—until you’re ready.
But keep in mind isolating yourself can do you more harm. People find it easier to cope with grief when surrounded by family members. Even if you need some alone time, find time to be with others. The first time might be hard, but eventually, celebrating the holidays without them will get easier.
2. Acknowledge Your Feelings
People grieve in different ways. But most would agree that suppressing emotions doesn’t have a long-term benefit. The more you suppress the sentiments, the longer it takes to heal. If the holiday season awakens sad feelings, allow yourself to feel them.
Most research shows that suppressing emotions is harmful to mental health. Here’s the thing; don’t feel inadequate when emotions overcome you. Look at it as a path to overcoming grief. It has to happen for healing to occur.
3. Learn Some Grieve Coping Skills
It’s a good idea to learn some grief-overcoming techniques. The skills can come in handy when you’re in a social function and need to contain yourself. Some people find comfort in taking a nature walk, taking deep breaths, or listening to certain music. Others prefer yoga and reading positive quotes.
Find what works for you before attending a holiday party. It might make you feel more relaxed to have fun. Plus, you can use the techniques when you feel an emotional breakdown coming up in a social gathering.
4. Volunteer or Contribute to Charity
Assuming this is your first holiday without your loved one, you can already anticipate feeling lonely. Whether it’s Christmas day, Mother’s Day, or valentine, you need people to make it complete. A good idea would be volunteering your time to help the needy or contribute to charity.
If you visit a children’s home and buy gifts for the kids, the smile on their faces will make you happy. Or you can buy holiday dinner for a less fortunate family. For one, you will deter the feeling of loneliness. And for a moment, you may even forget you’re grieving.
5. Plan Ahead
After the death of a loved one, some things must change. Maybe your father always cut the turkey, and your mother decorated the Christmas tree. Without them, these roles will need reallocation. Anticipating the first holiday without your loved one can cause more worry than the day itself.
Tip: Plan to ensure everything goes smoothly. Let everyone in the family know what role they’ll play. Ask some relatives to aid where needed. Make a schedule outlining all activities you intend to do on that day. When you plan everything, you may find the holiday enjoyable.
6. Seek Support from Friends and Family Members
Your first holiday without your loved one can be unpredictable. That’s the time when memories come to mind and emotions break loose. When overcome by grief, try not to handle it all by yourself. Allow family and friends to help you. The best way to do that is to share with them how you feel.
If you continue feeling sad during the holiday season, you can talk to a counselor. They provide professional help and advice that is practical to your specific situation. In instances where grief doesn’t seem to end, talking to a counselor can help you heal faster.
You Can Manage Your First Holiday Without Loved One
If you’re a person who looks forward to holidays, you can still manage your first holiday without your loved one. Yes, it will be different, but you can still do it if you plan ahead and seek help from others. Use the first holiday to share memories of your deceased loved one, and the next holiday will be easier.
Florida Family Cremations is always there to provide comfort when you lose a loved one. We provide cremation urns and affordable cremation services in Clearwater. Call us for more information about our simple/direct cremation and veteran services.