We started RHV close to a year ago. It’s crazy to think it has been that long. I remember a lot of our conversations when we first started were about the holidays. They are, like the title states, hell for those missing a loved one.
People are already dreading next week. Thanksgiving is the first major holiday of the season and the images of family are already toying with our minds. What i want to do in this article is start a survival guide, a thing to look back on as we solider through the upcoming ordeal.
1) Expect people not knowing how to talk to you.
Most people do not know how to speak to a grieving person. I posted a resource guide to the facebook page earlier, showing what to say and how to deal with a grieving person.The funny thing about it is, as i was reading through the list, i could recall many people from the site talking about people saying exactly the things people do not want to hear.
Go into these holidays knowing that people will be interested to comfort you and will probably say something that will, in turn, make you upset. Think about their intent. Regardless if they are trying to be nice because they want to or they feel like they have to, the bottom line is they are trying to be nice. Which, in my opinion, is what the holidays are about.
2) Set aside a special time to say a prayer or remember all of your loved ones.
The odds are you are not the only one thinking of someone who has passed or is very far away. What i recommend is to set aside a point in the night, maybe before or after a meal, when you remember your loved ones.
I think if you designate a specific time it can segment the night – that way you don’t feel like you are making people uncomfortable (like i said, alot of people may be feeling the same things). Make it ceremonial and light, it could be a great way to bond everyone there.
If you don’t want to talk about it, you don’t have to. If people ask, just say it’s too hard to talk about.
4) Start conversations
From what I’ve seen, sometimes people wait for their family to talk to them. Don’t be that person. If you wait for someone to contact you, the odds of the question being “How are you doing?” is increased. Sometimes the old adage “a best offense is a good defense” is just plain wrong. If you ask the questions, they have to give you the answers; not the other way around.
*More to come later! If you have good tips post them and i will add them into the story!