As we head into summer, many people are already getting their backyards and patios ready for big family BBQs and holiday get-togethers. Summer is definitely a time for relaxing and having some fun with the people you love most.
But the summer holiday get-togethers can be extremely hard to handle when you are grieving the recent death of a loved one. Many people aren’t sure how to handle the dichotomy of wanting to be around those they love, and yet feeling the sadness for their loss.
If you are wondering how to deal with your grief during the upcoming summer holidays, here are some tips I hope will help:
Feel Your Pain
Recognize that grieving is an important part of healing. Stuffing your feelings down will only prolong your grief. If your instinct is to avoid all get-togethers in an effort to not feel your pain, you may want to rethink your decision.
While you shouldn’t completely avoid being social with your loved ones, you don’t have to attend every summertime get-together. Choose the events that you think you can handle and say “no” to the ones that may bring you to a very dark place. Be firm with loved ones who may try and convince you to attend, thinking it will be good for you. Ultimately, you are the only one who knows how you feel and what you can handle.
Have an Escape Plan
Be sure to drive yourself to the event if you can so you can leave when you want or need. If you must get a ride, try to get one with someone who will take you home when you need to go. You may also want to download the Uber or Lyft app as another option.
Honor Your Loved One
Find new ways to keep the memory of your loved one alive during the summer holidays. You could make their favorite dish or baked item to bring to the BBQ. You could also light a candle in Church or light and release sky lanterns. Creating unique ways to memorialize your loved one will help you keep their memory with you during this time.
It may also help to speak with someone over the summer months. A therapist can offer tools to cope as well as guide you along your grieving path to wellness. If you’re interested in treatment options, please get in touch with me. I’d be happy to discuss how I may be able to help.