By Evi Fisher
We all grieve differently
Some grieve quietly
Solemn in their grief not wanting
To show their pain
While some are loud
Letting the pain out for all to see and then beginning
The long battle of healing
Some hold their grief in for so long
That eventually it eats at them
Causing them to misdirect it
In different ways unknowingly pointing
The pain of loss toward others not wanting of it or deserving
When instead they should be letting go and moving on
Grief is not a friend
For it makes one angry, sad, exhausted, and confused
Grief is an unwanted guest for it stays for a long, long, time
Seemingly never wanting to leave
Once in a while it will allow some peace but for only a brief time span
It would rather curl its black tentacles around and keep you in its grip forever
And then one day you realize you’re starting to feel a little better
As the seasons change so do we
In time we shall heal
You start to get back into your routine and realize grief is finally
Packing up to end its long overstayed visit
For it was a long process this visit from grief
Each day gets a little better
Keep on moving
One day, Grief is finally gone
Until the next time it is required to visit again
By Stephanie J. DeMartino
Grief is a difficult emotion that can sometimes become harder to deal with during the holiday season. It is sometimes difficult to see joy and to feel gratitude when we are hurting. The season reminds us to be joyful, to be grateful, however these emotions can be painful for those of us mourning a loss. At this time of the year as we are planning time with family and friends, we tend to remember the times we had with those we have lost. These memories are especially painful during the holiday season and can prove a constant reminder of our loved ones that are not longer with us.
Below are some tips for helping to cope with grief during the holiday season:
- Acknowledge that this year will be different from past holidays. You have lost someone important to you and the holidays will not be the same without them. Accept that this year it will be different and give yourself permission to be ok with that.
- Allow yourself to feel your grief. Bottling up the emotions associated with your grief may seem like a good idea, but emotions need to be expressed in order for us to begin to heal. Give yourself a chance to feel what you are feeling, acknowledging that these feelings are all part of your process.
- Know that you are in control of what you do for the holidays. If you can’t keep up with all the typical traditions or simply don’t want to, that’s ok! Do what feels good or right for you.
- Be honest with loved ones about what you need. If you need help or need space, let them know.
- Find a way to honor your loved one. Perhaps you need to write your loved one a letter, or set a special place at the table for him/her. Maybe it is a prayer said before the meal or a memory shared by each guest. Try to find a way to acknowledge the person in a special way.
- Practice gratitude. When you have suffered a loss, it is often times difficult to find things to be grateful for. Gratitude helps us to change our mood by shifting into a positive perspective. Perhaps it’s as simple as a good morning cup of coffee or the snuggles from your favorite pet, but there is something to be thankful for.
- Seek support if you need it. It might be time to seek counseling or perhaps find a grief support group that can give you a listening ear in your time of need.
- Skip events if you feel overloaded. There are no rules as to what you have to do for the holidays and you need to be kind to yourself. Holidays can get overwhelming and sometimes just too much; it is ok to decline an invitation or all invitations if you need to!
- Do something for someone else. Helping others can be a great help to ourselves. By doing something for someone else we can feel useful, find joy in bringing joy to others and find a way to get out of our own minds and emotions.
- Treat yourself! Find something that makes you feel good. Do you need a massage or a box of chocolates? Do you need to spend some time in nature or cuddled in your pajamas? Maybe you need to have a great conversation with a friend. Whatever it may be, do something nice for yourself that makes you feel good.