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Extra help through the Holidays

The holidays are around the corner, this can be a time of reminders and a sense of grief and loss. This grief can be complicated, nuanced, and painful. There are expectations of what the holidays should look, and feel like. Grief doesn’t always fit in. When we grieve it is not only about the loss of that person in your present, but also the memories of the past, and the hopes or opportunities for the future. While grief is not an uncommon human experience, the grief you have for that person is unique, just the same as your relationship with that person is unique. This experience can change and challenge the perspective on the expectations in life on top of the expectations of the holiday season.

There are no special words that will fix the pain of losing someone close in your life, but know that there are those who can help you if this is a challenging time of year. To support you in your loss in a way that feels right/special for you. There is no one rule that fits all. May your journey with grief be one of support and understanding. Here are some ideas of what may help you get through this difficult time.

1. Connection

Create connections with loved ones in a way that feels right for you. That may mean doing something new or holding on to traditions that bring comfort. Be mindful of how this feels for you and know that it is ok if it is different for others. Communicate the things that seem to be too much right now and set boundaries about how you want to move forward with holiday events. Remember to reach out for support when you need it.

2. Create Coping Strategies

Grief can take one off guard. It may be a moment that something brings back memories of the one you lost. Know that your feelings and reactions can come from a place of happiness, sadness, or even anger. There is not one feeling that is right or wrong, and it can be normal. Think about strategies that have helped you in the past when you felt overwhelmed with emotions. Practice these strategies, like taking a deep breath, or going for a walk, with intention. Remember that we all grieve differently. If you are working with children, remember that they have different ways that they may deal with grief depending on their age. Children do not always have the words or tools to deal with such a big emotion in a healthy way without support and guidance. Below are a few resources that are specific to children.

National Alliance for Children's Grief Sesame Street in Communities 3. Do Something Charitable or Volunteer Feeling that you are contributing to good in other’s lives can be a meaningful way of sharing the holidays. This may even be a way of honoring the one that you lost. There are opportunities to volunteer that do not require monetary contributions. Your time is valuable and can be shared with others who may benefit from the help you can provide. But know that it does not have to be an elaborate task. Small acts of kindness can create a sense of belonging and significance in your community as well. Remember you do not have to go through this alone. If you need extra help through the holidays please get in touch with us at Illuminated Path (702) 886-0961.

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