MOURNING DOES NOT GO ON HOLIDAY
On vacation, but not quite.
The time of year that we all look forward to has arrived: the holidays, when we disconnect from the routine, put aside our obligations and dream of escaping to paradisiacal places full of fun.
However, the holidays can be difficult for people who are grieving. On the one hand, due to the contrast between their internal state (full of sadness, melancholy or other emotions) and the external holiday context more connected with leisure and fun. This situation can be perceived as alien and even feel discomfort and rejection by the fun of others. We often hear in consultation: “how can the world go on if my mother (or another loved one) is gone?!”
In addition, vacations can be difficult because the people around us who make up our support network go away, the neighborhood stores close and we cannot support ourselves in the routine of work, making us feel more isolated and with a great feeling of loneliness.
That is why it is advisable to plan the vacation period and decide how and with whom we are going to spend it. If we decide to spend it accompanied, we can inform the person who accompanies us with a phrase such as “I am in mourning and I will need my spaces, or to speak, or to remain silent”. This warning will allow us to respect our needs, making it easier to communicate them.
If you decide to travel, you can turn the trip into a way to honor your loved one, for example by going somewhere special for both of you, turning the trip into a ritual or starting a journal to facilitate the expression of emotions.
The reality is that grief does not go on vacation, but we can make it more bearable if we plan in advance what we are going to do and with whom we are going to share it.