5 Ways to Plan for the Holidays After the Death of a Loved One

Posted on

Nov 12, 2020

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Facing the holidays after the death of a loved one is difficult, especially the first few years.
The bereavement experts at VITAS Healthcare offer suggestions to helpyou and your familycope, enjoy time together, and honor a deceased lovedone during the holidays.

Ask each family memberfor theirthoughts/preferences about participating in holidaytraditions.

A family meeting will help you discuss the role your loved one played in your holiday traditions.By talking about what youll miss most about your loved one's absence, you and your family are taking the first stepto copewith your grief.

Reviewholiday-associated activities. Consider what to keep and what to change.

If you and your family decide to continue with holiday family traditions, allow someone to fulfill the role of your loved one.Each member of the family should do only what they feel most capable of handling, and everyone should honor the choices made by the entire family.
This is a time to be kind to yourself and to help others understand how you feel and what you need.

Decide how to include the memory of your loved one.

Achair may be empty, but your loved one will be present in your mind and heart. Look through photo albums and tell stories about your loved one who is gone.

Respond toinvitations.

Plan to be with people you enjoy, even if just for a few moments. Ask a friend to accompanyyou, andstay only as long as you want. Allow yourself to decline invitations you dont want to accept.

Realize that your fear of the holidays may be worse than the reality.

Allow yourself to enjoy golden moments when you can see the joy of the season. Your loved one would want that for you.
VITASoffersfree remote grief support groups. Led by bereavement specialists, these sessions provide information and guidance to those experiencing grief and loss. Learn more and sign up atVITAS.com/grief.

Rikki Muro, RN, MSN, is general manager for VITAS Healthcare in Chicago. For more information about end-of-life care options, call VITAS Healthcare at 866.759.6695 or visit VITAS.com.

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