By Elaine Tiller, M.Div.

  1. Choose: Think ahead of time about what you really want to do on a particular holiday so that you have a choice rather than falling into the trap of feeling you have to do things that you don’t want to do. Choosing means a willingness to:
  2. Change: Your world has changed and been turned upside down. Be willing to allow yourself to make changes rather than feeling you have to do everything exactly the same as you’ve always done them. Be good to yourself and change things that just don’t fit you right now. Changing things means the need to communicate with others:
  3. Communicate: Talk with all of your family members about what each of you want and need and don’t want and need for this holiday. Be as open and honest as possible with each other even if you want opposite things. This leads to:
  4. Compromise: We each grieve differently and have differing needs. One person in the family may need to have everything for the holiday remain exactly the same as before and another family member may feel the need to do everything differently or to do nothing at all. Compromise is the answer-communicate and share your thinking and feelings and then be willing to give up some of what you want and encourage others to do the same so that everyone gets some of what they want and need. Which leads to:
  5. Comfort: Be good to yourself and find as much comfort as you can for yourself in your time of grief. Do those things that help you to feel good and give you some comfort. When we are grieving we do not have to hurt every second and minute. Our loved one would not want this for us. It is okay to feel times of joy, times of fun, times of celebration while we are grieving. It is not disrespectful and it does not mean that we didn’t and don’t love them deeply.

© Copyright 2008 E.Tiller