When a child has died, the holidays are a very difficult, stressful time for the family. While others are enjoying the festive atmosphere, bereaved families are faced with the specter of an empty chair at the holiday dinner, and the dilemma of whether to hang their missing child’s stocking. Here are ten tips from an expert, a bereaved parent herself, to help grieving families survive the holidays. Oak Brook, IL (PRWEB) November 14, 2005
With Thanksgiving in ten days, a week from Thursday, and the normally festive holidays around the corner, millions of families throughout the United States that have lost a child are struggling with how they can simply survive to see the new year.
“The stress that bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents face during the hustle and bustle of the holidays can feel overwhelming,” says Patricia Loder, executive director of The Compassionate Friends (an international self-help organization for bereaved parents and families where more seasoned grievers help support the more newly bereaved). “It is difficult for those who have not gone through the death of a child to understand the depth of despair which such a loss brings.”
Mrs. Loder, whose two young children died in a car crash in 1991, says there are many tips that can help a grieving family prepare for the holidays.
1) Plan ahead. Realize you will not be able to do everything with everyone. Decide what is truly important to you and your family.
2) Don’t be afraid to ask friends for help. Tasks which may normally take little effort can feel overwhelming, whether it’s fixing a meal, cleaning the house, or putting up decorations.
3) No one expects you to string rows and rows of lights just to prove you have the holiday spirit. If you don’t feel up to past efforts, you may simply want to place an electric powered candle in your window in memory of your child.
4) Just because you’ve hosted holiday gatherings in the past doesn’t mean you’re obligated to this year. Others will understand.
5) After a child dies, old traditions are often left behind and new ones that incorporate the child who died can take their place. Honor the memory of your child in unique ways that have meaning to you.
Part 2 will be posted on Thursday, Nov. 17th, 2011