The holidays are a difficult, lonely time for many people, especially for those who are alone, are grieving, or both. Those who are grieving or who do not have family or close friends in the area may be hesitant to join in as they may feel they are a burden, a third wheel, or will dampen holiday spirits. This isolation can be especially painful if they are missing loved ones.
You can help, by taking the initiative and giving the gift of your company. While culturally the holidays are the primary party season of the year, it also is an excellent time to spend one-on-one quality time with those who are alone or grieving. Do not worry about cheering them up, fixing them, giving advice, or knowing what to say. Just be there and listen with your full attention and love.
Invite them to sit with you during church service, parish and/or community social events and maybe out for a meal after. If they are unable to drive or do not drive at night, offer to pick them up and take them home again. If you invite them to a party or a family event, make sure they are not left alone but warmly welcomed and included.
If you are alone this year and/or struggling with a loss, I encourage you not to isolate yourself. Even if it is hard, reach out to someone you trust. Others may not realize your struggles.
Remember, there are many different types of losses, not just death and divorce, and we all grieve in our own way. There are no set rules, stages, or length of time. You are not alone!
If you have any questions or would like to talk, please be in touch. All conversations are confidential.
Certified Grief Recovery Specialist®
Christian Spiritual Director
Volunteer Chaplain, Southwest Christian Care
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