Preparing for the Holidays

This month, it is important for each of us think about preparing for the holidays with our child in mind.  The opportunities and ideas here are separated out into four interconnected segments, allowing a 360° view of ways to bring your baby into the front of your mind (and others’ minds too) this holiday season.

At a time when so many joyous and festive things are happening and being planned around us, it is easy for us to feel like we need to push our grief to the back of the line.

Here are some things to think about, and some activities that you can do to allow yourself the time and space to pay attention to your grief and remember your baby during this holiday season, and into the future.

Outward Expressions:  In what ways does your loved one live on?

Make a contribution to an organization or a charity.
Plant a tree/rose/other plant in his or her memory.
Reach out to others in need.

Creative Expressions:  How do I create a new reality?

Create a tentative plan keeping in mind difficult situations may arise.
Tweak holiday traditions (meals, shopping, cards, location(s), decorating)
Make mementos, ornaments, or collect items that speak to you of your loss.

Inward Expressions:  How do I care for myself (and let others care for me) during this difficult time?

Acknowledge your grief and the difficulty in grieving while others celebrate.
Be gentle with yourself.
Allow yourself to cancel plans.
Care for yourself – get plenty of rest and drink water.
Journal your thoughts.
Read inspirational books, scriptures, poetry.
Define your boundaries – guard your heart.
Create a support system – ask for help/say “yes” when others ask to help.
ideas for others’ help: decorating, cooking, shopping, writing cards.

Remembering:  How do you remember your loved one?

Light remembrance candles.
Hang a special ornament/stocking.
Release a balloon.
Take time to look at pictures of your loved one.
Share stories, music.
Visit the cemetery/special place.
Write a special holiday or year-end letter.