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Predictable Grief During the Holidays

As unpredictable as grief is, one can expect that the holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries that were important, shared times with your loved one will cause a huge wave of emotion. These events, once anticipated with joyous pleasure, are now often painful reminders that your loved one is not here to celebrate with you. The good news is that you can help yourself.

Something to keep in mind as this holiday season approaches: for many, the anticipation of a holiday is worse than the actual day. Make a plan for the holiday that is approaching. If it is difficult to decide what you want to do, think about what you don't want to do. Discuss your plan with your family. Don't fool yourself into thinking you can ignore the holiday in hopes it will go away. Everywhere you look, you will probably be reminded that this is a holiday season. Stores will be decorated, there will be holiday ads in the newspaper and on TV. People will greet you with a "happy" or a "merry" something or another. And it is not a happy or merry time for you.

Holidays are different for each person. One particular holiday may be very difficult for you but a breeze for others. A particular holiday may not have much meaning for some, but if your family always hosted a huge neighborhood costume party, on that particular holiday you will really feel your loss on that day.


Originally published by American Hospice Foundation © 2002 and reprinted with permission from the American Hospice Foundation.  All Rights Reserved.
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This content was last modified on: 08/26/2008

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