As we head into summer, many people are already getting their backyards and patios ready for big family BBQ’s and holiday get-togethers. Summer is a time for relaxing and having some fun with the people you love the most.
However, the summer holiday get-togethers can be exceptionally hard to handle when you are grieving the recent death of a loved one. Many people are not sure how to handle the dichotomy of wanting to be around those they love, and yet feeling the sadness of their loss.
If you are wondering how to deal with your grief during the upcoming months, here are some tips I hope will help:
Feel Your Pain
Recognise that grieving is an essential part of healing. Stuffing your feelings down will only prolong your grief. If your instinct is to avoid all get-togethers to not feel your pain, you may want to rethink your decision and seek some support.
While you should not altogether avoid being social with your loved ones, you do not have to attend every summertime get together. Choose the events that you think you can handle and say no to the ones that may bring you to a difficult place. Be firm with loved ones who may try and convince you to attend, thinking it will be useful for you. Ultimately, you are the only one who knows how you feel and what you can handle.
Have an Escape Plan
Be sure to drive yourself to the event so that you can leave when you want or need. If you need to get a life, try to get one with someone who will take you home when you need to go. You may also want to keep taxi cab numbers accessible.
Honour Your Loved One
Find new ways to keep the memory of your loved one alive during the summer holidays. You could make their favourite dish or baked item to bring to the event. You could also light and release sky lanterns. Creating unique ways to memorialise your loved one will help you keep their memory with you during this time.
It may also help to speak with someone over the summer months. A therapist can offer tools to help you cope as well as guide you through grief. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact me.