How can you celebrate when your heart is broken?
This is my final article on Holiday Grief. Here’s what we talked previously:
- Holiday Grief #1: Holidays? Yeah, Right! This time of year is hard enough, but grief can make it nearly impossible. How do we handle this?
- Holiday Grief #2: Why Holidays are Hard and What You Can Do about It – Unrealistic expectations can add to our grief. By proactively choosing what we do, when, how, and with whom, we can grieve better and honor our loved one more.
- Holiday Grief #3: Do the Holidays WITH your loved one (not WITHOUT them) – We can include our loved one in our holidays by meeting grief head on and planning specific ways to honor them.
I have one more thing I would like to share with you that could make a huge impact in your holiday experience. I call it the Holiday Healing Secret.
Actually, it’s not a secret. In fact, it’s so simple you might even roll your eyes.
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Ready? Here we go…
Use your grief to give thanks.
Your read that right. Use your grief. With just a little effort, you can turn it into thanksgiving. And gratitude does wonders in healing a broken heart.
In Holiday Grief #3: Do the Holidays WITH Your Loved One, I talked about deliberately including your loved one by using past traditions to form new ones. As we proactively plan to remember and honor our loved ones is specific ways, thanksgiving begins to emerge.
Here’s a few things you can do to stoke the fires of thanksgiving rather than letting grief set the agenda:
- Plan a specific time of thanksgiving focused on your departed loved one. Have everyone share three things they’re thankful for.
- Have a balloon release. Have folks write messages of thanksgiving on their balloon and then release them together.
- Write short messages of thanksgiving, put them in a box, wrap them, and place them under the tree. Open it with the other gifts and read through them together.
Don’t be afraid to meet your grief head on. Use it for good and to help you heal. Practicing thanksgiving can be very powerful.
Your life has changed forever. These holidays might be difficult, but they can still be good.