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Dealing With Grief During the Holiday Season

10 things to help get you through this difficult time

Juggling Work and Caregiving

Juggling Work and Caregiving

Get the free download of AARP caregiving expert Amy Goyer's book. 

8. Acknowledge those who have passed on. When we are grieving a loss of someone very close to us, it can be helpful to participate in a related holiday ritual in his or her memory. Some ideas: lighting candles for them, talking about them, buying children's toys or books to donate in their name, dedicating a service to them, planting a tree, making a card or writing a letter, displaying their picture or placing an item of theirs among holiday decorations.

9. Do something different. Acknowledge that things have changed; indeed, the holiday will not be the same as it was ever again. Accepting this will help manage expectations. Plan new activities, especially the first year after the loss. Go to a new location for family celebrations, change the menu or go out to eat, volunteer, invite friends over, attend the theater, travel … create new memories. Many families return to their usual routines and rituals after the first year, but some enjoy incorporating their new experiences permanently.

10.Skip it. If you feel that it will be too much for you and you'd like to simply opt out of participation in a holiday, let family and friends know. But plan alternative comforting activities for yourself and let someone know what you will be doing. It's a good idea to make sure someone checks in with you on that day.

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