Holidays and Special Days

Holidays and special days present challenges even when our lives “normal”.  These days bring us together to celebrate traditions and individuals.  During these times, the absence of a child will be deeply felt.  It will be overwhelming.  A lot of times, it will not just be the day, but the pain will be felt the whole season.  There are some things that you can do to cope with these days.        

  • Talk about your needs – As best as you can, clearly communicate your needs to those around you.  If you can sit down as a family and clearly discuss the holiday or special day ahead of time, it will cut down on some of the fatigue, resentment, and disappointment that can surface.  Are there any changes that need to be made to make the day more bearable?         
  • Alter the routine – Some families choose to go with their normal family traditions, but most families find it beneficial to make adjustments or even major changes.  If there is a particular part of the tradition that is being dreaded, communicate to your family that you need it to be changed.  This does not mean that the tradition will be lost or changed forever.  Maybe just for the first year.        
  • Cut back on your activities – Grief is physically and mentally challenging.  While it will be important to connect with family and friends, setting realistic limits is essential.         
  • Celebrate your child – The word celebrate can also mean “to honor.”  Set aside a special time or tradition to honor your child.  Make a donation in your child’s name.  Everyone will be thinking of your loss, so having a constructive way to honor your baby will be important.  Otherwise, there will be a huge awkwardness.