Grief during the holidays

Filed under: Activities: Babies, Sex

This holiday season marks a year since my son lost his father. He passed away two weeks before Christmas 2006. I have been watching for signs of grief in my son, but he has not shown any so far. I am torn between mentioning things to him to encourage him to talk about his memories and leaving him alone and not bringing it up as often.

When someone dies close to the holidays, it always makes the future years bittersweet. While celebrating the holidays and building additional family memories, it is also a reminder of the times when those loved ones were there with us. Some people find comfort in signs of remembrance. One of the things my son and I did this year was make a donation to the local library in memory of his father.

The holidays are stressful enough under the best of circumstances, but when families are dealing with grief, it can be even more stressful. Most experts agree that the best thing to do for children during the holidays is to be supportive, positive, and reassuring. Children also learn from watching adults, so it is important for parents to take care of themselves and to set limits. It's important to be realistic and let go of the need to have a "perfect holiday."

Sometimes grief does not involve the loss of a loved one, but a loss of a home. I have done some volunteer work with the victims of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and last year, there were a lot of families here in Houston who were still experiencing the grief associated with their loss and adjusting to living in a new city.

This video has several suggestions that deal with coping during the holidays and special occasions all through the year and I thought it had some great ideas for dealing with grief, especially for parents.

It's important to realize that there is no right and wrong way to grieve. It is an individual emotion that is experienced differently by everyone. We can also celebrate life – our current lives, and the lives of the loved ones who are no longer here with us.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.