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The Comforts of Dealing with Loss During Holidays

What feels more comfortable to you - taking a walk on a sunny, warm day or taking a walk on a rainy, windy, cold day? Most would probably be more comfortable taking a walk on a sunny warm day when conditions are more favorable. There are also serious conditions beyond the weather that can affect your feelings of comfort. Emotional storms brew within when faced with challenges involving situational losses. Such situations could involve divorce, job loss, death and serious family illness. The grief reaction brought on from such losses can make daily living as uncomfortable as walking in the rain on a windy, cold day.

In dealing with loss, you can assist yourself by choosing what is comforting during uncomfortable conditions. An umbrella serves that purpose in walking through the rain. If you hold the umbrella rather than opening it up for shelter, you are not utilizing the umbrella as a coping resource. It is accessible but not being used. The key is using your resources for comfort.

Making yourself comfortable during adversity and loss is a means of coping. This applies in situations such as caring for a chronically ill family member who depends on you. In this situation, it is also helpful to make your family member comfortable too. This can be a real challenge during the holidays when you have traditions you have been following for years. I remember when I acknowledged and assessed that my father with moderate stage dementia could no longer attend the holiday family gatherings as he had always enjoyed before. This was decided after he plopped his head down on the table and fell fast asleep during the family meal. It was a loss to me acknowledging how much the illness had progressed to the point that I lost having his presence at the table. Instead we went to the residence where he was living and spent time with him prior to the family holiday meal.

You may want to weigh out comfort vs. traditions. Assess whether it would be better to make change to accommodate the present conditions and make the holidays comfortable or go with the way you have always done the holidays even if there is discomfort in the regular traditions. It is beneficial to acknowledge, assess, assist keeping comfort. in mind in seeing you through uncomfortable conditions of adversity and loss. There may also be times you may have to go out of your comfort zone if necessary. That is for you to acknowledge and assess. Also be comfortable with whatever you decide.

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