29 Nov Yes, Holiday Time & Loneliness Sucks!
Yes, Holiday Time & Loneliness Sucks! After the death of a loved one, for many of us, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the most painfully lonely and in-between time ever. I remember my children returning to school after Thanksgiving holiday, the house being painfully quiet… and thinking, “Great, in a few weeks we have to live through Christmas without Donald!” The pang of loneliness was never as strong as it was that first—and second year for me.
Some of you are navigating all the “firsts” related to the first holiday season without your loved one for the first time. Others of you are rumbling through your second, third, fourth… holiday season without your loved one. All I have to say is every year is different and some years are better than others. And loneliness can do you in! The important thing is to admit if you are lonely is that you are lonely and then to decide to do something about it so you don’t get stuck in your grief and become the person that nobody wants to be around.
There is hope! What can you do to help yourself?
- Reach out to someone else who is grieving. Meet for coffee, go to a movie…
- Get a relaxation massage. Touch is healing. Check out your local massage school for a massage at their student clinic. You’ll get a wonderful massage at a good price! (Of course, I recommend Ann Arbor Institute of Massage in Ann Arbor, MI because I graduated from this fine school in 2004.)
- Clean your house. One drawer at a time if necessary.
- Attend a play at your local high school or theater. Take your children or your grandchildren… Me, Jess and Andy attended a lot of plays that first holiday season.
- If you are married and grieving the death of your child go on dates. Turn towards each other and not away from each other.
- Go for a ride in your car and turn up the music. There is nothing more therapeutic than going for a ride with the radio blasting.
- Purchase a copy of Grieving Forward: Death Happened, Now What? A Practical Guide for Healing & Understanding the Grief Process. It’s an easy read. We wrote this book so that you don’t have to learn things the hard way like we did—because when you understand what’s normal for grief it’s easier to navigate your personal healing journey. And we share how to navigate the holidays—and it has more ideas for combating loneliness. It’s available on lindapouliot.org or on Amazon.
Hugs and Healing Friend!