While most of us find the Holiday season to be a cheerful and exciting time, Hospice Orillia understands that for those grieving the loss of a loved one and the end of traditions as they once were, it can be a very lonely and unfamiliar time.

The holiday season can magnify one’s grief, there is no doubt about that.  There is pressure to attend social events and participate in traditional gatherings, but for some, attending without your plus one can feel very foreign and scary.  People often say they’d rather avoid social gatherings as the holidays place extra stress on people to be joyous, and those grieving find it hard to talk about their loved ones for fear of upsetting others.

We encourage those grieving the loss of someone to embrace the holidays on their own terms and to be gentle with themselves as they adjust to their new reality. Many people have found the following tips helpful when coping with grief during the holiday season:

  • Surround yourself with supportive and loving people.
  • Allow yourself to feel the feelings – whichever ones you may experience at any given time.
  • Go easy on yourself. Take it day by day, even moment by moment. Indulge in self-care as often as you feel that you might need it.
  • Find comfort in old traditions, or even by creating new ones. Perhaps you light a candle for your loved one, watch their favourite holiday film, or make a donation in their memory.
  • Set healthy boundaries for yourself and communicate them to others when needed.
  • Join a local grief & bereavement support group.

Hospice Orillia provides a variety of grief and bereavement support services to those in Orillia and the surrounding areas free of charge and with no referral necessary. For more information, please feel free to contact Louise Brazier, Bereavement Services Coordinator, at 705-325-0505 ext. 209 or visit www.hospiceorillia.ca.

Written by: Louise Brazier, Bereavement Services Coordinator, Hospice Orillia