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Coping With the Holidays After the Death of a Loved One or When You Are a Victim/Crime Survivor

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2005
5 pages
Families who have found ways to manage "the holidays" so as to reduce the stress related to the deaths of loved ones or other personal traumas related to crime victimization offer suggestions for other crime victims.
One suggestion is to make a family decision about which holiday traditions to keep and which to let go in order to lessen the impact on those most affected by loss. Another suggestion is to have a special tribute in honor of a loved one who has died. Also, families should consider carefully where to spend the holidays, so that love and nurturing will be magnified during this period. It is also important to balance solitude with sociability. Rest and solitude can help renew strength, and friends and family can be a needed source of support. Attempts to avoid memories are not as therapeutic as a conscious effort to recall fond memories and be grateful for them. Although holidays inevitably carry sadness, much joy can be retained by continuing or strengthening a tradition of giving to others and accepting the love and care of others. Other suggestions are to find creative outlets for expressing ones self, celebrating with children as they experience the joy of the holidays, protecting physical and emotional health by eating healthy, and engaging in rituals of faith or participating in support groups of people who have experienced similar losses.

Date Published: November 1, 2005