Updated: Oct 5
The holiday season will be here before you know and it and while most consider it the "happiest time of the year", if you are grieving it can be a most dreaded time of the year.
Trying to get through the holidays might be challenging enough for someone grieving and most likely the thought of any kind of celebrating could become overwhelming.
As a friend or family member, you want to navigate this holiday season with love, compassion and consideration and perhaps having a conversation about it now, rather than closer to the holidays would be a wise choice.
Gift giving is a huge part of the holiday season and even if your loved one doesn't feel like celebrating with friends and family, there are still thoughtful gifts you can give that will show them you care.
Here are five gift suggestions that can bring comfort and meaning as they navigate the holidays without their loved one.
A Memorial Christmas Ornament
This was one of my favorite gifts I received after my son Brandon died. And it is one of my favorite gifts to give too. The first Christmas after our son Brandon died, my mother gifted our family with an ornament with his name and picture on it. Since I consider my son an angel.
This ornament gets placed on our tree near the top with loving care each and every Christmas. I have a similar pet ornament with a picture of our late beloved dog Teddy. These ornaments allow me to include these missing family members to our Christmas tradition in some small way and provide me with comfort as I hang their ornaments on the tree.
A Cozy Blanket
The winter season is a time of hunkering down and cozying up with a hot cup of cocoa, a good book and warm fire. If you don't have any of those things, you can still conjure up that feeling with a cozy blanket while watching tv. Just like when you were a child, a good soft blanket can make you feel calm, can soothe you and just make you feel good.
Just like a cozy blanket, soft sheets can
help your loved one feel more comfortable when they go to bed each night. When people are grieving, they ten to have trouble sleeping.
Making their bed feel as comfortable and as inviting as possible will lend to their overall healing.
A Charitable Contribution
Was your loved one helped by a hospice organization? If so, a donation to a local hospice or the hospice that tended to their needs is a wonderful way to pay they help forward. Many hospice organizations have fundraisers to help families memorialize their loved ones during the holidays. Our local hospice sells ornaments to place on community trees as a way to honor those who have passed, while raising funds for special programs and services.
A Gift Certificate for Self-Care
Stress, tension, anxiety, can increase during the holiday season for many grievers. How nice then to gift them with something that will lessen that stress. A gift certificate to a local day spa or a local massage therapist can help their body and their mind feel more relaxed. If they are not up for a massage, maybe a trip to their local salon for a manicure or pedicure would be just the service they need to lift their spirits. If they don't feel like leaving the house or can't leave the house you might consider sending a heated massage cushion or a home spa kit.
Remember, it truly is the thought that counts. For a grieving person, to know you are thinking about them and caring for them in way that offers love, comfort and support as a way to acknowledge addresses their struggle and pain is something they will remember for a lifetime.
Sherrie Dunlevy- #Inspirationista, is an author, speaker, podcast host.
She is the founder of the the "Graduating Grief” and "ALL THINGS AWESOME" communities on Facebook, which are dedicated to LIVING a life of meaning, passion and impact, and shining a light on all the GOOD that exists in the world.
To invite Sherrie to speak at your next event, conference or to book a "How Can I Help?"- Workshop at your business, hospital or school, contact Sherrie at SherrieDunlevy@gmail.com
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