Whether it’s the first holiday or the seventh without your loved one, this time of year can prove to be very difficult for many. Who will carve the turkey? Who will decorate the tree? Who will entertain a houseful of guests? Do we skip the holidays entirely? Do we try something completely different? What about tradition? Read here how other cultures honour death. Don’t cancel the holidays, no matter how tempting it may be! Here are some tools to help you cope with the holiday season: Set boundaries Be honest with yourself and others. Set reasonable expectations for yourself. Surround yourself with loving people People that really care about you will allow you to grieve and will understand that you may need to take time for yourself. Communicate Communicate with friends. Communicate with family. Reach out to a professional if you need to. It’s important to acknowledge that these holidays are going to be different. Get help and talk it out. Pay It Forward Days are going to be structured differently now. You may find that you may have more time in a day than before. Why not spending some of that time volunteering to help someone else in need? Maybe you would rather donate to a charity in memory of your loved one. Perhaps you still have some items that belonged to your loved one. Consider gifting some of those belongings to someone special. They’ll be grieving too and this gift may bring them a great deal of comfort. Decisions Decide what you want to do over the holidays. Make a conscious decision about where you would like to spend the holidays – either with a friend or other family members. Enjoy That’s right. Allow yourself to laugh. Don’t feel guilt either. Love and joy are great ways to combat the symptoms of grief. The Basic Funerals Team wishes you a holiday season filled with the comfort of loving memories and the possibilities of joy and kindness.