A dear friend invited me to her church recently to listen to a grief counselor talk about coping with the loss of a loved one during the holiday season. It was a peaceful evening… So glad I went as I came away feeling connected to nice people who shared a common thread of understanding and compassion. Most were facing a holiday season having lost someone they deeply loved… In addition to the interpersonal experience, I received some really useful tools to pass along to family, friends, and clients.
The speaker made two important key points.
First, she talked about the “4 C’s” which I list and explain.
1. Choose. Choose what traditions to follow or abandon or modify in relation to the holiday. Choose to have an escape hatch, a way out if you are uncomfortable or need time alone. Above all, choose what is right and important for you.
2. Take control. Advocate for what you want. Get feedback about what others want and involve each other in the decision-making process.
3. Compromise. Make your case, but be willing to consider where others are and what they need as well.
4. Communicate. Be honest and clear in expressing your thoughts and feelings to others. Talk. Talk. Talk some more. Always keep the lines of communication open.
Second, the presenter discussed something she referred to as LDR, believing that each of us should surround ourselves with these kind of people, particularly when we are going thorough seasons of loss and transition.
L = Listeners (those who really hear what you have to say and do not pass judgment)
D = Doers (those who will do concrete tasks for you, anything, big or small)
R = Respite (those who gladly cover for you so that you have time for yourself)