A Survival Guide: Holidays After a Loss

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


(HeHe's article is published for Birch Baby HERE in its entirety.)

The holiday season can be hard for those who have experienced a loss this year. At a time of year that people are expected to automatically be happy and be cheery and bright-eyed, it can be painful to have to pretend to be enjoying yourself while you are dying inside. One mother described it as “a dark place of heartbreak and anger.” 

Through my work with Mothers’ who have experienced loss (or any kind of trauma), I have found that having a structure of mindsets to help you survive in high-stress situations is helpful. I was considering a survival guide for the holidays for expectant parents who have experienced loss, but then I thought why not just a general survival guide to help when you are coping with loss, no matter what time of year it is.

  • Know your limits (It’s people's’ job to respect that boundary). You have the right to pick and choose which events you attend and which events will too overwhelming emotionally. You can be honest with folks, too. It’s okay to say you aren’t ready, yet. If that’s too painful, have an excuse thought out beforehand. 
  • Share your feelings -or don’t- either way, you must advocate for yourself. By asking to be left alone or acknowledging the fact that you want to share is helping those around you learn how to best support you. Otherwise, you can politely tell people how they can best support you when they ask. 
  • Respect your own personal boundaries. At one point or another, you will find yourself in a situation that you thought you could handle, but turns out you weren’t ready. That’s okay, but know when to take a minute to be alone. Connect with your body, begin to recognize your body’s signs of feeling overwhelmed, and begin to remove yourself before you feeling out of control. 
  • Know when it’s bigger than you. Check out this blog on the “bigger than you approach” to interacting with challenging situations. We all have that one relative or friend of a friend who just won’t get it--no matter how hard you try. That’s okay. It’s not your job to help every single person you encounter understand, but it is your job to recognize when you’re causing yourself more stress than will pay off in the end. 
  • It’s OK to not be OK (and to say no). This is an important one. Refer to #1 where it says it’s okay to not only pick and choose which events you attend but to also be honest with people. See #3 where it says recognize and remove yourself from situations. I can’t stress enough how ok it is to not be ok. Literally, everyone has had moments when they were not okay and no one should expect you to be okay before you are ready. 
  • Start a new tradition to remember your baby. This one can be fun and can look like anything. I urge you to make it a celebration rather than a remembrance. I used to work with a family that got donuts each year to celebrate their angel baby’s birthday. They had two kids after their loss who knew what the holiday was and looked forward to the discussions about their brother each year. It can be as formal as you’d like, if that is your style, or as laid back as a donut date.

Part of the healing process is pushing yourself a healthy amount, but also recognizing the healing and work you still have to do. It’s okay to remember that sometimes the only cure is time. Surrounding yourself with those who care about you and will support you during this time is essential. Be vigilant on how much you push yourself during the holidays as it is already a stressful time of year. It’s okay to say no and to respect your own boundaries.

Happy Holidays to all the parents anywhere on this parenthood journey! Stay strong out there and remember to lean on your village when you need!


Don’t forget to check out our newest adventure The Birth Lounge, listen in to The Birth Lounge Podcast, and follow us on Instagram at @tranquilitybyhehe! 

2 comments:

  1. Married in 2016, I am 27 years old. i am so happy to be a mother of my first baby girl weighed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and was 20.5 inches long when she was born on Oct. 29, i have been trying to conceive for over 2 years now, after i suffered a miscarriage. But after holding our sweet girl in my arms and being told everything went well and she had made it to us safely I could have cared less. My/our world no longer has anything to do with us but everything to do with her. It’s all for her, one day i was just on the internet searching for how i can get pregnant fast. i came across some testimonial giving by some women and it was all about Dr micheal casper then i said to myself let me give it a try and know if it will work for me, after using his recommended natural pregnancy herbs and medication am so proud to be a mother, thank you so much Doctor for making me a happy mother. I will forever do anything for this girl that I love more than I ever could imagine. A love no one can ever prepare you for, if you know you are having the same problem i had before conceiving kindly contact my doctor via email: michaelcasper@dr.com

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  2. my partner and I have been trying for a baby for over two years now, We were going to a fertility clinic for about 5 months before somebody at baby center told us to contact this spell caster who is so powerful, We contacted him at this email; babaka.wolf@gmail.com or Facebook at priest.babaka , for him to help us, then we told him our problem, he told us that we will conceive once we follow his instructions ,but after two years of trying we were at a point where we were willing to try anything. And I'm glad we came to Priest Babaka, Because his pregnancy spell cast and herbal remedy help us, and I honestly believe him, and his gods really helped us as well, I am thankful for all he has done. contact him via email: babaka.wolf@gmail.com or Facebook at priest.babaka if you are trying to have a baby or want your lover back. he has powers to do it, he has done mine




    my partner and I have been trying for a baby for over two years now, We were going to a fertility clinic for about 5 months before somebody at baby center told us to contact this spell caster who is so powerful, We contacted him at this email; babaka.wolf@gmail.com or Facebook at priest.babaka , for him to help us, then we told him our problem, he told us that we will conceive once we follow his instructions ,but after two years of trying we were at a point where we were willing to try anything. And I'm glad we came to Priest Babaka, Because his pregnancy spell cast and herbal remedy help us, and I honestly believe him, and his gods really helped us as well, I am thankful for all he has done. contact him via email: babaka.wolf@gmail.com or Facebook at priest.babaka if you are trying to have a baby or want your lover back. he has powers to do it, he has done mine

    ReplyDelete

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