Dealing with the holidays after the loss of a baby due to miscarriage, stillbirth or death right after birth can be extremely difficult, if not downright nearly impossible. Seems like everyone around us is celebrating, while we are left grieving intensely for the child we wish were with us, especially at this time of year.
Here are some suggestions from Compassionate Friends (www.compassionatefriends.org) that may help you better cope at this time:
1. Plan ahead. Realize you will not be able to do everything with everyone. Decide what is truly important to you and your family.
2. Don’t be afraid to ask friends for help. Tasks which may normally take little effort can feel overwhelming, whether it’s fixing a meal, cleaning the house, or putting up decorations.
3. No one expects you to string rows and rows of lights just to prove you have the holiday spirit. If you don’t feel up to past efforts, you may simply want to place an electric powered candle in your window in memory of your child.
4. Just because you’ve hosted holiday gatherings in the past doesn’t mean you’re obligated to this year. Others will understand.
5. After a child dies, old traditions are often left behind and new ones that incorporate the child who died can take their place. Honor the memory of your child in unique ways that have meaning to you.
6. Surviving children should be included in your plans. They, too, mourn their sibling, but need a normalcy the holidays can provide.
7. If you don’t get everything done you plan, be easy on yourself. Grief is tough work and you should never feel guilty for not completing every task.
8. If you must shop for others, find a time when the stores are not extremely busy like early morning, order through the Internet, or ask others to shop for you.
9. Participating in a memorial service, such as The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting the second Sunday in December, this year December 13, can be very meaningful. This can be done in a formal service with others or through a short private candle lighting in the privacy of your home.
10. Remember that the fearful anticipation of an approaching holiday is usually worse than the day itself.
Please visit www.compassionatefriends.org for more information about the Worldwide Candle Lighting at 7:00 pm local time December 13th. Anyone who wishes can light a candle for one hour in remembrance of a child who has died.
God Bless- I will be thinking of you and all your beautiful angels this holiday season.