by: Jill Crunkleton, LCSW | Creative Interventions & Bereavement Counselor
If you have recently lost a loved one, starting the New Year without them can be challenging. A new year brings a fresh start that used to bring joy. But this year, it’s a painful reminder of the loved one who isn’t here to share it with you. What can you do when the whole world celebrates the new year, but you just don’t feel excited? How does a grieving person cope during this time of year?
I am a person who is deeply impacted by the death of another person. I have said goodbye to someone I love and I have special needs right now. I don’t have to be ok.
Feel Your Feelings.
Some days are ok, but sometimes my feelings seem out of control; other days, I’m just numb. I may worry about being a “downer,” but it is important to take the time to experience whatever arises. Feelings come… and then go. The more I resist, the longer they linger.
Ask the Big Questions.
Grief might cause me to question my ideals and beliefs. Searching for meaning in my loss is part of my healing. It is ok to ask big questions. I can also seek support from my faith community or other people I trust.
Learn to Receive.
Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help (practical or emotional) because I don’t want to be a burden. However, receiving care from people who love me is actually a gift to them. When people offer to help – let them.
Practice Self Care.
Taking care of my physical health is especially important. Eating well, staying hydrated, moving my body and getting enough sleep will help to make my emotions more manageable.
Find a Balance.
Some people cope by staying busy and surrounded by people; some prefer to be still or “hole up” by themselves – either way, moderation is the key. I need time to reflect…AND connect.
Talk About Traditions.
No two people grieve the same. This is true even among family members. It is important to talk with one another about expectations, traditions and rituals. We may decide to change some things. We may not. But, making decisions beforehand will probably help everyone feel a little more in control.
It’s OK to be OK.
Despite my fears, I may find that I have moments of peace or gladness. This is a good thing and I do not have to feel guilty about it or analyze it.
Our Grief Support Team offers services to the families that we have served as well as the larger community. We will be by your side following the loss of a loved one to help provide grief support. Visit Hospice Grief Support to learn more.