JACKSON, Mich., March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- There are more than 40 events in people's lives that can create feelings of grief; the death of a loved one, a divorce, an estrangement, financial changes and health issues are at the top of the list. The holidays are often a time where grief can start or for someone that is already grieving, this time often increases their grief. To help deal with holiday grief, Great Lakes Caring Hospice Bereavement Department, which provides home health and hospice care in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, offers solutions on how to cope with holiday grief. For additional information call 800-379-1600 or go to Great Lakes Caring.com.
1. I am unable to find work.
The loss of a job is just as devastating as the loss of a close family member. Feelings of loss, sadness, anger and fear are very common. Embrace your feelings, realize that they are just feelings, and share them with a friend or loved one. Writing in a journal also helps deal with feelings, but be honest. Remember the old saying, "When one door closes, another one opens". Know that when you expect good things, good things happen. A positive attitude can make all the difference in the world.
2. With the holidays arriving soon how can I cope with not being able to give my children the gifts that they have been accustomed to?
With the economy today, many families will be dealing with this problem. Holidays are the time many of us are extravagant and extend our budgets. This year, maybe it's time to refocus your attention on the actual meaning of the holiday, instead of what you may buy someone. It may mean changing rituals your family may have, but making new ones may be fun; maybe a family get together with everyone bringing a covered dish instead of the huge meal. Making homemade gifts is also fun, and children really enjoy helping. Enjoy your family and friends, and the time you have together, focus on the spiritual side of the holiday, and fill your home with love.
3. This is your first holiday without a job.
Losing a job is a very big loss in your life. Any time we experience loss it can be very stressful and difficult to cope with. As with any significant event after a loss it is hard to imagine how you and your loved ones are going to be changed by the loss. Take this time to get back to basics and remember what holidays and families are about. Holidays are not all about the presents or what we can gain from them. It may be a time for personal growth, families to come together and for you to give in more creative ways. If you or your family is planning a holiday try to come up with new ways to celebrate. You may find involving the whole family in planning the holiday can help bring closeness and a sense of family pride to you all.
4. My spouse and I divorced. I have been grieving since, this is the first holiday season without him/her.
In a divorce, the same feelings arise as if the person had died because essentially it is a death; the death of a relationship that had started with so much promise and love. Now you are faced with creating a new 'normal' and the holidays can be stressful. Understand the anticipation is probably a lot worse the reality of the day. Perhaps you can find friends in a similar situation and make plans to celebrate with them, rent your favorite films and make it a movie day, if expenses allow, plan a trip somewhere and if you feel like being alone and sad, that's okay too. Maybe you can look upon this as an opportunity to abandon what you hated about the holidays and create new traditions.
5. When a person or family is expecting death, this is the last holiday.
Accepting that a loved one is dying and this is the last holiday you will spend together is an emotionally and physically challenging time. You may feel overwhelmed by the upcoming loss as well as pressure to make the holiday perfect for your loved one, yourself, and your whole family. However, there is no such thing as a perfect holiday, birthday, or anything for that matter. One thing you can do is ask "what does" or "did" my loved one want to do for the holiday? By letting them set the pace for what would help them enjoy their holiday will help you enjoy yours. The relief of granting your loved one's wishes can help ease you or your families' worries and stress over what to with them, or for them on their last holiday together. Try to remember that being together is the most important fact and that the memories you make can stay with you and your family when your loved one is gone.
6. I've lost a pet – either a pet died or had to be given it up due to economy.
Pet owners have very close relationships with their animals, and the loss of a pet can be very painful. Feelings of overwhelming grief and sadness may be triggered, plus trouble sleeping, weight loss, feeling tired, or having difficulty focusing may occur. These feelings are much the same as losing a family member. Like grief for humans, grief for our animals can only be dealt with over time and in stages. Realize that your best support may come from outside your circle of friends and family. Seek out others who have lost a pet; they will appreciate the loss you are feeling and may suggest ways of getting through your grieving process.
7. A child voluntarily left home.
Many look upon this as a relinquishing a role of mother/father, but it's not really. It is a new transition and in time, will be a kind of liberation. First, be thankful that your child has grown to maturity and independence because that is what we are supposed to do as parents. It does not mean you are going to worry less but celebrate what he/she has become. Secondly, it is an opportunity to explore new avenues for you, whether it be traveling, volunteering or going to back to school. It may be tough, but it is a time of adjustment and incorporation as it is with any grief; it hurts but with time, it will get better.
8. The first year of dealing with a disability or chronic illness.
Dealing with a chronic illness or disability often makes traveling or visiting people in their homes much more difficult, and may limit your chances of meeting up with friends and family for the holidays. You may be physically unable to host the holidays at your place this year as well. Feelings of loneliness and isolation often accompany the holidays for those of us who are unable to function at our usual capacity. However, giving people a chance to spend time with you individually and at their own convenience may be the way to have the holidays come to you. You may not be able to get out to the festivities during the holidays, but your friends and family may come to see you throughout the season, stopping by after work or when they are out shopping. Let them know it is okay to drop in, make them a cup of tea, and have a chat, bringing some holiday cheer to your door.
9. Grief from losing home due to a foreclosure.
For those that lose their homes to foreclosure it can be a time of uncertainty and change. Not knowing what the future holds and how your life is going to change can be very sad and frightening. These feelings are normal when experiencing such a big loss in your life. At times like these it is helpful to lean on people you trust or get community support. It can also be helpful to learn as much as you can about the process of foreclosure, your rights, and any options or organizational help you may utilize. Getting as much knowledge about your situation and your options can help you gain a sense of control, relieve some of the stress and fear you may have and help cope with the upcoming changes you have to make. Keep in mind that the most pressing issue is to make sure you and your family has a safe and adequate place to stay. There are potential housing options you may be eligible for until you are able to get back on your feet.
About Great Lakes Caring
Great Lakes Caring is one of the Midwest's premier providers of a continuum of care, consisting of home health, palliative care, and hospice care, as well as home medical equipment. Our care services are delivered with an unparalleled level of superior quality by our exceptionally dedicated team of health care professionals to more than 7,000 patients across Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Our intimate approach to caring for our patients, along with our extraordinary pursuit of next generation health care technologies and innovative care services, drives more than 3,000 loyal physicians to entrust their patients' care to Great Lakes Caring.
SOURCE Great Lakes Caring