Wishing You Peace in the New Year

BY: Diane Snyder Cowan, MA, MT-BC, CHPCA
CATEGORY: Grief and Loss

“I thought I was doing much better. The pain had subsided; I could laugh again. I was beginning to spend time with friends. Then, I had to face my first big holiday without him. I felt the similar effects of grief wash over me and it was just like the healing process had never begun.”

 —  Author unknown

The holiday season is often overwhelming. We are bombarded with the jingle jangle, the advertisements, the decorated stores and doctor’s offices. Everything is in your face, constantly reminding you of the joyful holidays that loom ahead.

What’s a grieving person to do? The physical absence of your beloved is palpable and your grief washes over you like it was just yesterday that your loved one died.

Many bereaved have felt the three C’s were helpful. Communicate, commemorate, and compromise. One couple was grieving the death of an adult child and it was the first Christmas. The wife did not want any decorations, let alone a tree. The husband wanted a tree. They talked about it and decided to have a tree in a different room than usual. As they hung the decorations, they reminisced about their child and added an ornament to honor her. They compromised and commemorated. Another family wanted their sister, who was recently widowed, to attend the holiday dinner. She didn’t know if she could or if she wanted to. She let her siblings know her feelings and only decided at the very last minute to attend, leaving her car in the street for a quick get-away.

There’s no right or wrong way to grieve during the holiday season. Each person needs to do what feels right in their grief process. Communicate your feelings and let others support you on your journey.

Wishing you peace in the new year.

We Can Help

Speak with the referral team by contacting us seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Any first visit and admission can be made the first day.

Northern Ohio's Hospice of Choice

More than 1,000 Hospice of the Western Reserve employees and 3,000 volunteers live and work side-by-side in the same neighborhoods with our patients and families. We are privileged to have cared for more than 100,000 Northern Ohioans since our inception.