The first year after the death, you will experience and “live through” the firsts: birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and holidays. Below we offer tips and suggestions in managing and living through these “firsts”. Remember, some of these tips will apply and others may not.
- Recognize the holidays will be different this year.
- Do what makes you comfortable, not what well-meaning friends or others think you should do.
- Grief does not take a holiday, even with all the colorful and cheerful distractions.
- Talk to your family and discuss how you will observe the holidays this year. Traditions can be very comforting. You may wish to continue to observe some family traditions and drop others. Consider a new tradition, in memory of your loved one.
- Be prepared for a chain reaction of memories and emotions that may be triggered by a favorite song or cherished ornament.
- Be kind to yourself. Grief brings on fatigue. Your physical and emotional resources are
- Allow friends and family to help when they offer.
- Take time for yourself.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Set realistic goals for yourself, and reserve the right to change your mind at the last minute.
- Keep something of theirs with you- a linking object
- Support a cause close to their heart, and yours. Make a tribute donation to a nonprofit.
- Create a living reminder by planting a tree
- Dedicate an event to their memory.
- Start a new tradition.
- Share their stories and photos.
- Live your best life.
This article is not intended to assist those currently experiencing a serious mental health crisis. Please dial 911, visit your nearest emergency room, or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for more assistance.