At this holiday season, if you are hurting badly because of the loss of your child, whether it is a new loss or one you’ve been living with for many years, start making a list.
Only this list will not be “What I want for Christmas…” We know what we want, but we also know we can never have it again. No, this list is a list of things you can do to get through the holidays, a list that might help you move on and out of that depressive state.
There is nothing to make me feel better, you might say. It is true that nothing will make everything all right again, but maybe these few ideas will brighten up your holiday and get you started to battle any demons you may still have.
1. Make lots of handmade gifts (it takes up time and lets you be creative) and give them not only to friends and relatives, but also give some to a children’s hospital, an orphanage or a senior home. You are not the only lonely person out there with a loss. Everyone has a story to tell.
2. Contact an organization that allows you to adopt a child or a family for the holidays and buy toys and clothes or anything you are told that they may need. You may want to tell the family you are doing this in your child’s memory.
3. Make time to do something you enjoy or go someplace you’ve always wanted to go to at this time of year, but never got around to doing it.
4. Visit the cemetery where your child is buried and decorate the grave with seasonal decorations. Take others with you if you’d like. Sing songs, tell stories or jokes; make it a happy visit.
5. Say a prayer during the holiday and be thankful for all the little things and the people in your life who have helped you and made a difference. Then tell your child how much you love them and always will.
6. Finally, at this time of year, it is appropriate to burn a candle in your child’s memory. Surround the candle with pictures of you and your child and the family having fun during the holiday season. Below is a poem appropriate of the season to honor their memory from TCF Atlanta online.
Memory CandlesAs we light these four candles in honor of you, we light one for our GRIEF, one for our COURAGE, one for our MEMORIES and one for our LOVE.
The first candle represents our grief. The pain of losing you is intense. It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.
The second candle represents our COURAGE to confront our sorrow, to comfort each other and to change our lives.
The third light is in your MEMORY, the times we laughed, the times we cried, the times we were angry with each other, the silly things you did, the caring and joy you gave us.
The fourth light is for the light of LOVE.
As we enter this holiday season, day by day we cherish the special place in our hearts that will always be reserved for you. We thank you for the gift your living brought to each of us. We love you.
--from Holiday Help: Coping for the Bereaved, by Sherry Gibson, B.S., R.N. and Sandra Graves, Ph.D.