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When you’ve lost a loved one, the thought of spending any holiday, especially Christmas, without them can be painful, sad and lonely.

One way to ease your pain and make the holidays more enjoyable is to make the memory of your loved one part of your holiday celebrations.

 

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Take a moment to remember all the happy times you had with that person during past holidays and share those memories with family and friends. This is sure to spark a smile, laugh or a great story that will warm the heart.
  • Photos from holidays past are always a great way to churn up those wonderful memories. Incorporating these happy memories into your holiday celebrations can help you heal.
  • Many families have cherished holiday traditions. In memory of your loved one, create a new holiday tradition.
  • Ask your family and friends to write down their favorite memories of your loved one and choose a time to read them together.
  • Make a donation in your loved ones’ name to a charity that was important to them.
  • Small touches such as lighting a candle, hanging up your loved ones’ stocking or preparing their favorite foods can be a very powerful way of celebrating their memory.
  • Incorporate a special ornament, wreath or other decorations in memory of your loved one, in your holiday decor.

Remember that everyone grieves differently and your thoughts on how you want to spend the holidays may not match how others want to spend them.

Choose what’s right for you.

And, as you head into the holidays without your loved one, remember that it’s important to practice self care.

Here are some tips to get you through:

  • Often people want to help when they see others hurting. Allow others to help you with things like shopping, preparing food, decorating or taking care of children. This goes a long way in reducing stress and making the holidays more enjoyable.
  • Turn off your phone, shut down your computer and don’t respond to emails outside of work.
  • Make time to do the things you enjoy such as reading a book, listening to music, journaling, cooking, getting outside, walking the dog, playing with the kids or volunteering.
  • Exercise is a great way to help you relax.
  • Try not to overindulge in food or alcohol.
  • Take extra time for prayer or meditation.

Above all, remember that it’s OK to enjoy yourself.

Feeling happy and joyful during the holidays does not diminish how much you love and miss your lost loved one.

 

Sending you lots of warm hugs!

From my house to yours, Merry Christmas!

 

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