Is Someone Missing From Your Holiday Celebration?

Is Someone Missing from your Holiday Celebration?

By Danielle LaBossiere, MSW, RCSWI, Cornerstone Hospice Bereavement Counselor

Whether your loved one passed away recently or years ago, the holidays can stir up a sense of loss that overshadow any celebrations. Reminiscing about holiday traditions, knowing your loved one will not be present, can cause sadness and anxiety.

While everyone grieves differently, it’s important to know that intensified feelings associated with loss is common this time of year.

Some may feel the need to hide their feelings from friends and family. They may be embarrassed or may not want to ruin the holidays for others. At the same time, friends and family may feel unsure of how to be with someone who is grieving.

Denying or ignoring your feelings is not the way to deal with grief. In fact, it’s best to acknowledge them and to even speak with family and friends to let them know your feelings and how it is impacting your holidays.

Consider planning to honor your loved one at upcoming family gatherings. Encourage everyone to share their good memories they have about him or her and not avoid bringing them up. Sharing memories and expressing feelings can actually help everyone feel better about the fact that someone special is missing.

It’s important to take care of yourself by eating well, drinking plenty of water and exercising. Grief is exhausting, both physically and mentally. By following a healthy regimen, you’ll clear your mind and refresh your body.

If the grief persists and becomes all-consuming, consider speaking with a certified grief counselor or joining a bereavement support group. Cornerstone Hospice offers grief support to anyone in the community, whether a loved one was in Cornerstone’s care, and it’s free.

Grief is an individual process and can absolutely be overwhelming. You do not need to go through this difficult journey alone. Contact bereavement@cshospice.org or (888)728-6234 for more information.

About Cornerstone Hospice

Cornerstone Hospice is a leading community-owned provider of end-of-life care in Central Florida. For 35 years Cornerstone has set the standard for hospice care as we serve more than 7,000 people in Lake, Sumter, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties each year. For more information, to donate, or to volunteer, call 866-742-6655 or visit www.CornerstoneHospice.org.