Suzanne Lehbaueris the director of the Castlegar Hospice Society. (Photo: Betsy Kline)

Tips for surviving the holidays while dealing with grief

Castlegar Hospice director offers some good advice

If you are struggling with the loss of a loved one or dealing with a loved one at end-of-life, the holiday season can be especially trying. While everyone is celebrating with family and friends, you feel lost in the maze of grief. Here are some tips to help you handle the holidays.

Offer yourself some grace. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel.

Be kind to yourself. It is important that you are fed and get enough sleep! Decide what you want – to be alone or with others.

Ask for help and accept it!

If you want to externalize your grief, some ways are through sharing stories, giving tribute, lighting candles or prayer.

Try the holidays in a new way or not at all – it’s your choice!

Don’t do more than you need or want.

Remember that not everyone grieves the same way – own your grief.

Seek support from friends, family, spiritual guides or your local hospice.

If you are supporting a grieving friend or loved one please:

• Support their choices – it’s about them not you.

• Don’t push them to attend holiday gatherings.

• Don’t tell them they should be over it.

• Listen, don’t judge.

Please remember, grief doesn’t just affect the first holiday season.

Suzanne Lehbauer is the executive director of the Castlegar Hospice Society.

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