Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dealing with Grief Over the Holidays

Last year, I found out I was pregnant right around Christmas. Then I miscarried on New Year's Day. Nothing like a miscarriage to start the year off, right? Needless to say, the holidays were difficult for me last year. If you're in a similar spot this year, here are a few things that might help you deal with grief over the holidays:

1. Give Yourself a Break.
Don't expect to be all smiles this year. It's okay if you're not. Don't worry so much about what other people think, and allow yourself a chance to grieve.

2. Give Yourself Permission to Have Fun (or not).
On the other hand, if you're having a good time, don't feel guilty about it. One thing I had to tell myself over and over again was this: your happiness doesn't mean you love your baby any less. It's okay to smile every now and then :)

3. Give Yourself an Out. 
Prepare ahead of time what you will do if you get upset at a family gathering. Are you comfortable crying in front of people, or would you rather head to the restroom? Should you skip out on some of the family gatherings this year?

4. Talk to Someone.
Don't do it alone. Talk to your spouse or a friend or family member. If you don't feel like you have someone like that in your life, shoot me an email. I can't fix it for you, but I can certainly listen.

5. Do Something Special to Remember Your Baby.
Last year, we bought Christmas ornaments in memory of the baby we lost. Sure, I cried. But it also helped me grieve.

6. Get Out of the House (or stay in).
Are you overly-depressed when you're at home alone? Then stay busy. Or does it depress you to be around family? Then stay in. Do whatever works for you this year. You'll have plenty of future holidays to do the opposite.

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