Friday, December 18, 2015

Gabriel Roth on the First Holiday after the Death of a Family Member

"As early as possible, get all the adults in one place. Seize one of those unscheduled sitting-around moments that are the best parts of family gatherings. Clear your throat and get everyone’s attention, and then raise the issue directly. Acknowledge that you all miss the dead person and that everyone feels anxious about facing the holidays without him or her. And then say how much you’re looking forward just to spending time with everyone and that we can all do this in our own way—the point is that we’re all going to be together, which when you think about it is what’s really important about whichever holiday this is anyway. (This may or may not reflect your true feelings, but go with it.)

Some people might cry at this point, and other people won’t, and it’s good to get that out on the table, the fact that everyone’s going to be doing this their own way. Work on being OK with whatever your way turns out to be, and then work on being OK with everyone else’s ways. If anyone has a problem with your way, try to remember that that’s part of their way. Start forgiving everyone already, if you can."



Advice on coping with death over the holidays.

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