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Surviving the holidays

Surviving the holidays

Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 11:09 pm
By: By Don Harold Lawrence

Many bereaved people have found the following suggestions to be practical and effective in helping them cope with grief between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. Be good to yourself. You know your feelings, strength and limitations better than anyone else. Out of love for yourself, use common sense, do only what you are able to do, and do not attempt to do what you are unable to do, regardless of the expectations and demands of other people. Do not feel that you have to make explanations or apologies, and do not feel guilty or permit others to make you feel guilty. What is important is your well-being. Keep things simple. Eliminate unnecessary responsibilities and activities. Choose alternatives. If you are unable to do Christmas shopping this year, consider giving money, doing catalog-shopping by telephone or ordering gifts from one of the home-shopping channels on television or the Internet. An alternative to the traditional family Christmas meal that has always been at your home would be to take your relatives and loved ones to a restaurant.  Let others help you. Your loved ones will be glad to help with cooking, decorating, shopping, household chores and other responsibilities.  Write a letter to your deceased loved one. This provides an opportunity for you to express all of your memories, feelings and those things you wish you had said to them.  Talk about your grief with a good listener. This may be a trusted friend, clergyman or counselor. As you discuss your feelings and memories, you express and release that which is causing you to be anxious and depressed. This promotes stability, tranquility and balance. Join a grief support group. Here you are in an atmosphere of acceptance, understanding, support and nurture. You are with people who reach out to you because they have also experienced the pain of loss, and they encourage you to be yourself and express exactly how you feel without apology. Turn to God. Countless bereaved people have shared how, when they leaned on God during their deepest sorrow, His strength came into their shattered lives and made them whole. God is greater than any human problem, which means that He is greater than grief. ——— Don Harold Lawrence is coordinator of SUNRISE, which is sponsored by Shackelford Corporation. He may be contacted by mail at 145 Abernathy Drive, Adamsville, TN 38310-3001 or by telephone or fax at (731) 632-4483. His Web address is www.shackelfordfuneraldirectors.com. Published in The Messenger 12.24.08

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