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LOSS AMID HOLIDAY JOY

December 24th, 2010

Is it possible to find happiness during holidays and family celebrations, while you are experiencing overwhelming feelings of sadness, anger, frustration and envy toward those who don’t share your pain?

If you have lost a loved one during the year, I think the five patterns of grieving I described in my book suggest some ways you can find comfort amidst your feelings of loss.

• Memorialists can preserve the memory of their loved one by lighting a candle, writing a poem, listening to some special music, or continuing a family tradition in honor of that person.

• Normalizers like to gather family and friends together as they always did when their loved one was alive. In this way, they

• Activists want to contribute to others as a way of giving back or paying forward. You might feel good about volunteering in activities that relate to your loved one’s death – a hospital, hospice, or charity that was with yu in the last days of your loved one’s life.

• Seekers may turn to spiritual thoughts. You may want to spend some time in contemplation at your church, synagogue, mosque or temple. Join with others in your spiritual community, connect with nature, pray, meditate, think about what is important to you in life and pursue it.

If you don’t relate to any of these ideas, create your own way to find comfort. Above all, be with others who understand your grief.