Grieving in the New Year

For those who are grieving, it is hard enough to make it through each new day. Facing a new year without a loved one can be especially depressing. While friends may be full of optimism of what the new year will bring, the mourner sees 365 more days of emptiness and loneliness ahead.

I like how Pat Schwiebert, R.N., put it in an article at griefwatch.com: “When we are grieving, our tendency is to stand at the threshold of a new year looking back rather than forward. We fear that to walk through that door into a new year means leaving our lost loved one behind. To move on seems like an act of betrayal or abandonment of the one we love. There may also be a fear of forgetting, or maybe a fear of letting go.”

Psychologists and grief counselors put out a lot of great coping advice around this time of the year. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Remember, January 1st is just another day. It has no special power or meaning other than the meaning we choose to give to it.
  • Don’t be afraid to opt out of holiday festivities because you do not feel like celebrating. You are not obligated to participate.
  • Often, people want to help but are not sure what you need. So for a change, accept the general “if there’s anything I can do” offer. For example, there’s a movie you want to see showing at the theater, but you don’t want to go alone. Ask the person who made the offer to go with you.

But of all the nuggets of wisdom I have seen, this is probably my favorite: Love does not end in death. During the holidays and throughout the year, we keep our loved one’s spirit alive by the way we live our life, lifted by their memories and guided by their love.

Bereavement counseling helps a person to recognize and cope with feelings of loss. Dealing with the loss, rather than ignoring it, is healthier and will help you to work through your grief. aCremation wants to make sure you are not alone at any point in time. For the families we’ve provided cremations services to, we provide professional, certified grief counselors anytime, day or night, to speak with you. We encourage families who have used aCremation’s services to call our toll-free number, 877-353-3626, and you will immediately be put in touch with a counselor.

Mary Beth Barnett

About Mary Beth Barnett

Mary Beth Barnett is a licensed Funeral Director in Texas. Her involvement with aCremation began before our doors opened – researching how we could provide affordable cremations and still keep quality and service standards high. Through this process, she developed a passion for working with families who are going through one of the most stressful phases of life – planning for death.

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