On Loss During the Holidays

Posted December 17, 2013 by Katie Fleming in Life After Five
For all of you grieving a recent loss this holiday season, my heart is with you. Dealing with loss over the holidays can be especially tricky – feeling down while everyone else seems to be especially cheerful may leave you feeling even worse.

If you or someone you know is grieving, take a few moments to consider these tips on dealing with loss over the holidays:

  1. Know that your feelings are completely valid.  If you are in the middle of a holiday party, and are not feeling celebratory at the moment, it is perfectly fine to excuse yourself for a few moments to regroup.
  2. Be direct.  Let those close to you know exactly what you need.  If you need to have some alone time, or need someone to talk to – (kindly) say so.  If you aren’t feeling able to work, request one or two days of bereavement leave.
  3. Know that it is OK to cry.  If you’re sitting at work and feel the tears well up, put on your coat, and take a walk around the block.
  4. Actively remember the one(s) you lost.  Share fond memories, watch home videos, toast to their honor.  In your thoughts, in prayer, or in a letter, thank that person for sharing all those moments with you.
  5. Give back.  Think of what you would gift that person this year.  Get it anyway, and donate it to charity in his or her name.

An Irish Blessing

Death is nothing at all.
 It does not count.
  I have only slipped away into the next room.
  Everything remains as it was.
  The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
  Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
  Call me by the old familiar name.
  Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
  Put no sorrow in your tone.  
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
  Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.  
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
   Let it be spoken without  effort
.  Life means all that it ever meant.  It is the same as it ever was.
  There is unbroken continuity.
  Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?   
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
   All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
  One brief moment and all will be as it was before.   
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting,  when we meet again.

-Henry Scott Holland

In remembrance of Eleanor Fleming, Carolyn Lambert, and all the departed, may their souls rest in eternal peace.

About the Author

Katie Fleming

Katie earned her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northwestern University, and is currently a Crisis Therapist in Chicago. Her therapy interests include health and wellness, relationships, trauma, and crisis. Katie is also a therapist with a group practice in Arlington Heights. Katie is thrilled to be a part of Career Girl Network, helping to guide all Career Girls towards overall physical, emotional, and mental wellness. Katie is passionate about animal rescue, running, and yoga. She is the proud dog mom of Gulliver and Duke!