But What if I don’t Feel like Celebrating?

Finding Happiness this Holiday Season

How do we make space for our grief while also being present during the holiday season?

Being present means we are mindful and aware of what is happening at this moment; our mind and body are both in the “now”. It sounds so simple yet for those of us who are grieving, we see the challenge in this right off the bat; how can I focus on the “now” when yearn I for the past and worry about the uncertainty of the future?

Often in our grief, we vacillate between thoughts of the past and the future, struggling to focus on our here and now; simply biding time until we feel a shimmer of happiness again. Maybe it’s possible to do more than just pass the time and truly engage in our present, even as we grieve.

The Dual-Process Model of Coping, developed by Stroebe and Schut (1999), theorizes that most people experience normal grief as a back-and-forth process between loss-oriented and restoration-oriented coping.

Loss-oriented responses include feelings, thoughts and actions that make us think about our loved one and recognize and accept the loss itself. Examples of loss-oriented coping include crying, talking with others about the death, visiting the cemetery or place of interment, and focusing on memories of our loved one. While restoration-oriented responses include learning new skills, taking on new roles, and forming new relationships that are post-loss life events that the bereaved experience. Examples of restoration-focused coping include learning to manage household finances, finding a new job, learning to cook, and accepting our new identity as a widow or widower.

A key component of this this model is that we continually shift our focus from loss-oriented coping to restoration-oriented coping and then back again, over and over. It focuses on the dynamic process of grieving that is natural to each of us, including oscillating between confronting our loss and avoiding it. By giving ourselves permission to experience both modes of coping, we maintain an emotional balance and work through our grief in a healthy manner.

What appeals to me is that this model explains that it’s okay to take breaks from our grief. Sometimes we are able to face it head on and other times we give it a backseat as we focus on life tasks. It ties in so deeply with the importance of self-care. So much of self-care is finding balance and being aware of our current coping abilities.

By focusing on the present, on the moment we are in, we actually cope better with our grief than if we try to avoid the painful emotions altogether. Here are some tips for staying present:

  • Allow yourself moments of contentment and peace
  • Focus on one thing at a time
  • Move toward people instead of away
  • Don’t “should” yourself; prioritize the moments that are important to YOU
  • Be aware of ways you remain connected to your loved one who has died
  • Acknowledge and examine moments of grief, pain, and sorrow

Are you on course? Are you finding ways to engage this holiday season in ways that are meaningful and uplifting to you or are you just going through the motions? I hope you give yourself the gift living in the moment this holiday season.

Becky Lomaka, MA, CT, Director of Grief Support and Education O’Connor Mortuary

O’Connor Mortuary
25301 Alicia Parkway
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
(949) 581-4300
www.oconnormortuary.com

Latest News

Complication Rates After Surgery for BPH (Benign Prostate Enlargement): Real-World Data

Health & Wellness Robert G. Pugach

Complication Rates After Surgery for BPH (Benign Prostate Enlargement): Real-World Data

A very important large clinical study was presented at the European Association of Urology 2021 Annual Meeting ...

All in One Fun at the Catamaran Resort Hotel in San Diego's Mission Bay

Travel Jody Robinson

All in One Fun at the Catamaran    Resort Hotel in San Diego's  Mission Bay

My husband and I like to joke that we run an after-hours speakeasy out of our home. When the kids are finally a...

Inspirational Living at Serra Sol Memory Care

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

Inspirational Living at Serra Sol Memory Care

Now Open in San Juan Capistrano I was in middle school at my best friend’s house when her Dad got a call one...

Dr. Ivan Ho, DDS - Pro Smiles OC

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

Dr. Ivan Ho, DDS - Pro Smiles OC

Committed to Exceptional Care All throughout my youth, I wondered why people didn’t like going to the dentis...

JNH Lifestyles Infrared Sauna: Pain Relief is Just a Sauna Away

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

JNH Lifestyles Infrared Sauna: Pain Relief is Just a Sauna Away

My daughter loves the movie Frozen. The Disney hit is based around locations in Norway, but there’s one stand...

South County Coverage

Insurance Jody Robinson

South County Coverage

Insurance for All with Jonathan Bayani. GEICO Laguna Niguel There are very few things that throw people off ba...

Melanoma: The Silent but Deadly Skin Cancer

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

Melanoma: The Silent but Deadly Skin Cancer

--- May is Melanoma Awareness Month: Prioritize a Skin Exam with Your Dermatologist --- You eat well, get lots...

INSPIRATIONAL LIVING AT SERRA SOL MEMORY CARE NOW OPEN IN SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

Feature Sorbet Mag

INSPIRATIONAL LIVING AT SERRA SOL MEMORY CARE NOW OPEN IN SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO

I was in middle school at my best friend's house when her Dad got a call one afternoon. It was a complete stran...

Is Your Bladder Out of Control?

Health & Wellness Robert G. Pugach

Is Your Bladder Out of Control?

Interstim® 2ND generation bladder control device can help! An overactive bladder (OAB) can result in too freq...

Understanding the “Stages” of Grief

Finance Becky Lomaka, MA, CT, Director of Grief Support and Education O’Connor Mortuary

Understanding the “Stages” of Grief

I had a woman call me the other day inquiring about grief support for herself and her family after the death of...

Help is On the Way with Ola-Help!

Health & Wellness Jody Robinson

Help is On the Way with  Ola-Help!

The last 12 months have been some of the most taxing in recent memory. Nearly a year of intermittent lockdown, ...

A Year Changes You A Lot

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

A Year Changes You A Lot

Keating, MA, CT O’Connor Mortuary As hope begins to flicker in with vaccinations and re-openings, I feel the...

Lennar Foundation’s $50M Gift Advances Lifesaving Cancer Research and Therapies

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

Lennar Foundation’s $50M Gift Advances Lifesaving Cancer Research and Therapies

The largest single contribution to City of Hope Orange County establishes Lennar Foundation Cancer Center ...

A Royal Escape at The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Travel Jody Robinson

A Royal Escape at  The Lodge at Torrey Pines

The most recent season of Netflix’s revolutionary bio-drama The Crown follows Britain’s royal family to the...

45 Weeks

Education Becky Lomaka, MA, CT, Director of Grief Support and Education O’Connor Mortuary

45 Weeks

I was driving to work one chilly February morning and the radio talk show host mentioned that there were only 4...

How can cancer patients stay safe during COVID-19?

Health & Wellness Sorbet Mag

How can cancer patients stay safe during COVID-19?

If you are living with cancer, it’s understandable to be concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, Edward ...

Absolutely Fabulous. The Happiest Place in OC for the Holidays!

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Absolutely Fabulous. The Happiest  Place in OC for the Holidays!

The nature of gift purchasing has changed greatly since the advent of the internet. How has Absolutely Fabulous...

But What if I don’t Feel like Celebrating? Finding Happiness this Holiday Season

Education Becky Lomaka, MA, CT, Director of Grief Support and Education O’Connor Mortuary

But What if I don’t Feel like Celebrating? Finding Happiness  this Holiday Season

There are few periods that are as difficult for those who are grieving than the holidays, starting with Thanksg...

Absolutely Fabulous. The Happiest Place in HB for the Holidays!

Business Showcase Jody Robinson

Absolutely Fabulous. The Happiest  Place in HB for the Holidays!

The nature of gift purchasing has changed greatly since the advent of the internet. How has Absolutely Fabulous...

Be in The Know: Home Sellers Have Options

Business Showcase Sorbet Mag

Be in The Know:  Home Sellers Have Options

As the real estate industry continues to adapt to changes in the market, alternative methods of buying and sell...