Coping with the loss of loved ones around the holidays is especially difficult. In addition to the normal suffering experienced through constant reminders such as pictures, lack of contact, and friends and family sporadically offering their condolences, living without loved ones around the holidays inflicts some degree of guilt about experiencing joy without them. Whether it be Rosh Hashana, Chanukah or even secular holidays like Thanksgiving, not being able to celebrate and reflect with those you previously shared the holidays with can be devastating reminders of their absence.
Everyone experiences some level of grief after losing someone close to them. For most, the grief is manageable once the funeral and burial period comes to a close. However, many people struggle to deal with their emotional pain long after funeral services have ended.
Whether the pain is personal or someone you care about is suffering, there are plenty of resources available to help. Here are some resources to help you or someone you know cope a little easier with the pain:
-Psychologists can be extremely helpful when it comes to grieving the loss of a family member or friend. Psychologists are trained to support you as you learn to better deal with the fear, guilt or worry that can be related to the death of a loved one. They can also help people form their resilience and develop approaches to get them through their sorrow. The only downside is that they can tend to be quite costly.
-Support groups offer another effective way to get through your difficult time after someone close to you passes away. These groups are comprised of others experiencing loss, too. These are almost always free to participate in and take place all over locally. Just search online for “support groups near me” or visit these websites:
- Search for a support group by zip code: https://www.griefshare.org/holidays
- Search for a specific support group type: https://grief.com/grief-support-group-directory/
-Take time off and spend time with family and friends to reflect on the person you lost and all the memories you shared. You might think “I already did that,” however, when you are initially grieving it’s tough to fully collect yourself and spend time truly and effectively reflecting. Taking the proper time out from work, school or any other weighty responsibilities can really help you ease into this period of true healing.
Remember, there’s never any shame in needing help in your time of crisis.