Dealing With The Loss of A Loved One During The Holidays

grief-87730341The holiday season is a time for making new and happy memories with the ones we love. It can also be a time when we remember and mourn those we lost. The sentiment of the season can magnify your sense of loss and make coping with the death of a loved one even more difficult. While there is no remedy for heartache we can offer a few tips to help you cope with grief during the holidays:

  • Allow others to help– The love and support from others around you can be instrumental in helping you during a time of grief. Do not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help. Consider joining a support or bereavement group.
  • Accept your feelings – If you are feeling sad do not feel guilty if others are unsuccessful in trying to cheer you up. Allow yourself time to work through this emotion and set realistic expectations for yourself. On the contrary, do not feel guilty for enjoying the holidays. Experiencing joy does not mean you are grieving your loved one any less.
  • Cut back- If the activities of the holidays are too much to bear, it is okay to scale back. An example of cutting back is limiting the amount of holiday parties you host or attend.
  • Memorializing those who have passed- Memorializing the loss of a loved one can be therapeutic. Participating in ceremonies in their honor, making a new tradition or donating to a charity on their behalf are some of the ways you can memorialize the person you lost.
  • Take care of yourself-This is the time to be most in touch with your emotional and physical health. If you realize that your sadness begins to develop into feelings of hopelessness, or you are displaying other signs of depression, seek the help of a mental health professional as soon as possible. (hyperlink signs of depression to previous article on depression). Be mindful of your physical health by ensuring that you are eating properly, getting enough sleep and exercising.

The process of grief varies from person to person. Using some of these tips may not make your emotions go away but they can help you cope. Learn what works best for you and remember to pay attention to negative changes in your physical and mental health.  If you are beginning to feel overwhelmed by these changes, do not hesitate to seek the help of your doctor or mental health professional.

On Tuesday December 8th, the Palliative Care Team of Jamaica Hospital invites all to join our Annual Memorial Service to honor the lives of loved ones that have passed away. The event will take place at the Trump Pavilion, Garden Room North at 5:30 pm. For more information please call, Vicri Ferrer at 718 206 6914.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.