For many of us, the holidays are a warm and happy time. We gather with loved ones, fondly remember holidays past and celebrate the cheer of the season.
People who are struggling with grief or depression, however, don’t often see the holidays that way. Especially if the loss of a loved one is fresh, the person might be caught up in their grief, feeling isolated and sometimes overwhelmed by the celebratory mood of others. If you know someone who is having trouble, it’s important that you make an effort to reach out.
There are many ways to help someone who is having trouble this holiday season.
- Be sensitive to the person’s grief. Reach out to let the person know you care, keeping your words simple. Sometimes the kindest gesture you can make is just to let your friend know you’re there.
- Find simple ways to express your caring. While people are grieving, life goes on. The practical matters that keep a household running must still be handled, even when people are struggling with the pain of a loss. You can help by noticing what’s needed and then doing it. This could mean taking the family a meal or offering childcare. You might offer to bring some groceries or run errands. If your friend is up to it, you might even offer to help decorate for the holidays.
- Invite the person to holiday celebrations, but don’t insist he or she celebrates. Welcome your friend to participate in the festivities as much as he or she is comfortable, making it easy to refuse the invitation if it’s too painful.
- Talk about old memories and find ways to make new ones. If your friend is interested in reminiscing about holidays you’ve shared, looking through photo albums or favorite holiday mementos can be healing. It can also be comforting to just spend some happy time together, perhaps watching holiday movies or going on an outing together.
At Skylawn Memorial Park, we’ve been helping families face the death of a loved one since 1959, and we’ve built a solid reputation on quality, sincerity and trust. Our compassionate, professional staff work tirelessly to help families in times of loss. Whether you have an immediate need or you’d like to preplan for your own end-of-life arrangements, we can help. Call us at (650) 227-3142 for more information.