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Coping With Grief and Loss During the Holidays

Episode 20: Welcome to the Coaching Closet, I'm your host Richele Batt. It's a countdown to Christmas! I hope this recording finds you having a wonderful week and excited about the holidays. Today we're going to talk about how it is the most wonderful time of the year, but what if it isn't? What if it's a really difficult time, and if you're going through something difficult, the holidays can magnify your hurts, we're all supposed to be happy during this time, that supposed to can be quotes because I think if we're feeling like we're supposed to feel a certain way or not... And we really can't get ourselves there, can make it even worse on us? I've seen posts on social media lately about people feeling lonely, people going through things, and that's kind of what I wanted to talk about today, and I hope this isn't you... I hope you're in a wonderful place where you can't relate to this, but most likely, if you've lived enough years, you can relate to this, that you've been through something where this time of year came around and it really wasn't such a great time for you.

Ready? Let's get started...


• I think that's why it's so difficult. And when you do lose someone around this time of year, just having to say goodbye to them, it's just all that more difficult. So for me, in 2007, we lost many, many loved ones for our family, personally, we lost nine in less than a year. It started with my grandfather in September, followed by my brother's best friend, his wife passed away, and then my cousin died in a tragic accident right after Thanksgiving, and then my parents very best friends and their mom, the grandmother in a home explosion, and then their son who had injuries in the explosion passed away right after that. And then two more people. And so that year was really horrible, but especially around the Christmas time and the triple funeral on Christmas Eve, it was really devastating, and it was surreal to be there. (3:35)

• I was grateful for what I had in that moment. It was very difficult. And so that's another thing. And also for the children of divorced parents, for my children, for all those children out there, even if you're an adult and your parents get divorced, and that's becoming more common, unfortunately, people that have been married 30 plus years, and your parents are getting divorced. That's heartbreaking. You live your entire life with these people that you love and then they split up and then you're forced to deal with that, and so that can be really difficult as well, and then you're trying to help them with their emotions as an adult child, and also splitting your time up between your parents, so I know that's really another thing that can be very painful. (7:33)

• So there's a practice I do with my clients, it's called the inner sanctuary of safety, where you pay attention to yourself and you acknowledge your emotion, and you ask yourself, What am I feeling? And you name your feeling... And then you ask yourself, What do I need? After you name a few of your feelings that you're feeling and your needs may be as simple as, I need a hug, I need a nap, I need to take a walk, I need to get outside, I need to breathe some fresh air. It might be, I need to something I'm hungry, I ignoring myself. But even if it's not as simple as a small self-care practice, even if it's, I really need some new friends, or I really need to speak with a counselor or something larger that it's going to take a little bit of time to address, just acknowledging your emotions and validating them and speaking your needs to yourself is enough to help yourself and soothe yourself in the moment instead of ignoring your feelings and needs. (10:36)

• Just do something new, and maybe if you have other people in your life, invite them to do it with you so that you can start making new memories and be grateful for each and every moment you have, be grateful for each and every person that's been put in your life now, so that you don't miss the gifts you have in this moment, because you can get stuck in grief, even though we do need to go through it, we do need to honor our emotions, you don't want to get stuck where you're not appreciating what you do have now and the people that you've been given now. So just keep that in mind as well and know that you're absolutely not alone, there are other people out there. (13:29)


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