Dealing with holiday grief

The Canadian Mental Health Association offers a few tips for those who are grieving at holiday time

Editor’s note: The following is from the Canadian Mental Health Association, B.C. Division.

With all the messages of family togetherness and joy during the holidays, the emptiness left behind when someone passes away is in harsh contrast to what society seems to “expect” us to feel. Below are some tips to help you or someone you know get through a potentially hard time:

n talking about the deceased person is okay. Your stress will only increase if the deceased person’s memory is allowed to become a landmine that everyone tiptoes around.

n things won’t be the same. It’s normal to feel at odds with yourself and family events when dealing with grief. Do not isolate, but limit involvement when you need to and plan new events.

n don’t let other people’s expectations dictate how your holiday will unfold. If you don’t feel like doing something this Christmas, don’t let others force you. If you do attend holiday functions, know your limits.

n seek support. Talk to your friends and family about how you feel. Also, there are support groups for people who are grieving. Being around people who know what you’re going through can be very comforting.

n plan a special time to celebrate the memories of the person who died. Some families develop creative rituals like decorating a miniature Christmas tree at the cemetery, donating money to a charity, singing a favourite seasonal song, reciting a special prayer before the evening meal, or even just lighting a candle. Symbolic gestures like these can help families validate their feelings of sadness and overcome the guilt of enjoying special occasions.

 

Just Posted

North Okanagan explores compost options

Organic waste from ICI amounts to about 60 per cent of all organics waste seen in the landfill

Civic Sounds line-up unveiled

Free, outdoor concert series continues at Civic Plaza this summer

Multiple black bear sightings in residential area near Armstrong elementary

Pictures of the bear have been posted on the Armstrong Community Forum frequently

Vernon RCMP Appreciation Day campaign going national

Committee has such great support in B.C. they’ve decided to take it across Canada

UPDATE: Victim identified in fatal Vernon crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Black bear spotted near Salmon Arm elementary school

The bear was sighted at around 4 p.m. after school was out

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read