Holidays can be difficult time for people grieving loss of loved ones

Posted 22 December 2015 at 12:00 am

Submitted by the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Orleans County

When grieving the loss of a loved one or a relationship, the holidays can be a challenge. Whether it is the first holiday or the 10th without your loved one, there are times when you struggle to be in the festive mood others may expect from you.

Everyone grieves differently and the most important thing to remember is to not put pressure on yourself. If you feel like participating in your holiday traditions, go ahead. If you don’t want to participate or feel you can only handle a short time with others, understand your limits.

Consider starting new traditions that will honor your loved one such as preparing their favorite treats, decorating your tree (if you choose to have one) in their favorite color, spend some time looking over old pictures, write a letter, or go on a trip. Some people like to plant a tree or have a tree planted in memory of those they have lost. Whatever you do, make it simple. It may feel awkward or difficult at first.

It is also important not to completely isolate yourself. It is understandable that you don’t want to be around “happy” people when you are hurting so much. Consider talking with your clergy, a counselor or a trusted friend. You can also talk with someone through the Orleans Life Line at 585-327-4452. Trained listeners are available to take your call through this free, confidential service and they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Recently members of the Suicide Prevention Coalition donated copies of After Suicide Loss: Coping with Your Loss by Bob Baugher, PhD and Jack Jordan, PhD. The books are at each of the local libraries to be checked out. We also encourage you to “friend” our Facebook page: OrleansCountySuicidePreventionCoalition for more resources as well as event announcements throughout the year.

We hope you and yours have a peaceful holiday season and hope you know you are never alone.