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Getting through grief during the COVID-19 holidays

January 4, 2021 by  
Filed under Health

Getting through grief during the COVID-19 holidays

By Cassandra Cotton, Nathan Adelson Hospice Community Outreach Manager

The COVID-19 crisis has been stressful and isolated many of us.

Unfortunately, the pandemic is worsening. The first signs of the holiday season usually bring cheer and anticipation — but most families now have to consider modifying their holiday plans. Many will celebrate alone or with only their immediate household, which can increase feelings of isolation and loneliness.

To those dealing with grief, these additional burdens are even more difficult. Those mourning a loved one dread that empty chair at gatherings. Memories, objects and even holiday tunes can trigger intense emotions and make grief feel fresh. There is hope. For those dealing with grief during this COVID-19 season, always keep in mind these essential activities: C-P-R.

Care for yourself and others. Know your limits and check in with yourself frequently. If you need to cry or be sad that’s okay. There is no law that mandates participation in the holiday season. Give yourself space to mourn.

Plan for the day and events before the day. Make an itemized list of things to do. Decide what you will do the same, what you will not do, or what you might do differently. Thinking ahead and preparing can keep you from being overwhelmed.

Remember your loved ones if you can. Remember the things your loved one shared with you and your family. Find ways to show how grateful you are for the time that you had with them (and it’s more than okay to wish that you had more). Remembering your loved ones with a special ritual or a donation in their name to a special charity can add meaning and comfort to your holiday celebrations.

Remember that even though grief can be relentless — especially during the holidays, know that the love that you carry for the people in your life is relentless as well. And this will last long after the presents are wrapped, the lights are down, and the credit card bills come due.

If you or a loved one is a veteran and have questions, call Nathan Adelson Hospice at (702) 733-0320.

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