Tips for Dealing with Grief Around Summertime Holidays

With summer in full swing, many people are already gathering 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. It is often difficult to balance the desire to be with those you love while grieving the loss of a loved one.

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. Remember the adage, “that which we resist, persists.” Take time to experience your pain. Can you befriend it with curiosity and self-compassion? What are the thoughts that come up? Where do you feel it in your body? In allowing ourselves to experience the emotions that accompany grief, we are able to move through it.

Choose Wisely

If your instinct is to avoid all get-togethers to attempt to avoid feeling 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 remind yourself you can always leave early.

Say “no” to the ones that may be too difficult emotionally or don’t feel right at the time. 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

Let the people you will be with that you may need to leave early. Be sure to drive yourself to the event if possible so that 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 a BBQ. You could also 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 speaking with a therapist, please get in touch with me. I’d be happy to discuss how I may be able to help.

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