Grief and Loss Counseling by Frieda L. Ferrick, MFT: Families and the Holidays

Families can be the source of joy, comfort and connection, or they can be the source of sorrow, pain and no real solid connection.

We cannot change anyone other than ourselves, but we can change how we react to any given person, family or not.

If your family is difficult for you, then I imagine you have had your share of sorrow and grief.  You have not gotten some of your needs met by your family, and you might never thyour needs and feelings acknowledged by them.

I hope that you have  received support and kindness in your life from other people.  They can be friends, religious/spiritual leaders, people in a support group, a counselor or some other family member.

So here come the holidays with all of the expectations, hopes, dreams, and perhaps worries and concerns.  What can you change, what do you want to keep the same and what are your challenges?   A few of my suggestions are:

1. Simplify, meaning that you keep things uncomplicated, inexpensive and real.

2.  Make new traditions that work for you

3.  Included friends who don’t have familiy near by

4.  Remember to have fun and joy in the activities that you are involved in.

Your family may not be who you would have chosen if you had the ability to choose your family.  You can do as little or as much with them as you choose.  Please, do not let any one guilt trip you around areas of, how much time you spend with them, how much money you spend, what foods you choose to serve, and how much you chose to decoreate.

We have one life that we know about and it is in the here and now.  Choose to be around good, kind, joyful people and if you choose to be alone, then make it work as well as you can for yourself.

You deserve to have a peaceful and contented life.