With its emphasis on family and tradition, the holiday season can be particularly challenging for those who are grieving and the pressure to be merry can only make things worse as festivities and social gatherings flood the calendar from November through New Years.
As a therapist, the one rule I’ve learned about grief is that it doesn’t conform to any rules. It’s confusing, random and untidy. It can be understated and subtle or jarring and brash. It doesn’t come with an instruction manual or an ‘off’ switch. There is no right way or time or place to mourn a loss.
Understanding its complexities, the challenge with grief is finding effective ways to cope with it — particularly during this time of year when the calendar makes life tougher than normal.
Below are some strategies you may find helpful if you are struggling to navigate the holidays without a loved one:
Wishing you peace and comfort this holiday season.
Lindsay Ross, MSW RSW, is a clinical social worker in private practice in Toronto, Ontario.