Dealing with Loss During the Holidays
The pain of loss has no season, but the holidays bring on a deeper level of grief. As you struggle with the joyous holiday parties, shopping, and comradery where does grief fit when you need solace and time and an inopportune time? When you need time and patience in dealing with holiday grief you need a professional helping you deal with your pain while maintaining your life.
Whether you have lost your life partner, another family member, a child, pet, home or your health, grief is a process filled with feelings you need to deal with and sort out.
Recognize the Symptoms of Loss
There are recognizable symptoms of loss. The symptoms are parts of the grieving process. Sometimes when grief is compounded but other aspects, like holiday celebrations, getting stuck is possible. Know the symptoms of grief and when to seek help.
Sadness, a profound human emotion that signifies deep sorrow in your separation from a bonded connection. Allow yourself time to feel the sadness. Make time for your feeling, thoughts, and memories and to allow the sadness to transform you.
Denial of a death and the outcome of your situation is a hurdle which you must overcome in healing. The reality of loss has a deeper effect on your emotional state during holidays than other times. You are forced to face reality much quicker when everyone around you is celebrating and you are among the crowd without your loved one. Facing loss during the holidays does not allow time for denial and becomes more difficult.
Anger is inevitable when we do not have a special person, pet, job or home anymore. Holidays intensify memories and feelings of loss. Let your anger come out in a non-destructive way by voicing your feelings, physically expelling angry energy in exercise, funneling angry energy into positive projects like sorting, cleaning or helping others. When you feel your anger turning towards others or yourself seek help.
Anxiety is heightened in grief. If you already have problems with anxiety seek professional help right away. Holiday stress already produces anxiety and grief compounds anxiety of forced giving, sharing and false happiness. However, surrounding yourself with the people who love you during the holidays often helps you remember there are others that share your grief, love you and there for you.
Survivor guilt is real and often intensified during holiday activities. Listen and express your feelings of guilt. Others see the truth and will help you through the guilt and unrealistic feelings.
Fear of the unknown is normal when you lose someone or something which had been part of your life in the past and the future seems unclear. When you are afraid of how you to carry on you need your friends, family and a professional to guide you. Accept help from other and reach out to friends, family and a professional to face your fear. Facing the fear strengthens you when you allow others to help and guide you.
Depression, often the product of loss and sadness and exasperated by the holidays. Holidays are filled with gift-giving, parties, happy times, but are excruciating for someone with a recent or profound loss. Do not delve into a deeper depression with seeking support of friends, family and professionals.
Time to Grieve
Holidays are meant to celebrate and you are stuck in your grief. There is no reason why you cannot make time for your grief. The holidays actually offer a unique opportunity while around people who help you through the tough times. Talk and allow others to listen, lend a helping hand, and help you remember the good and carry on. When you need additional help to sort your feelings of fear, guilt, anxiety and depression seek professional help from someone who cares and knows how to help you deal with the grief. Contact me via email or call me at (215) 297-8361 today and talk through your grief during the holidays.