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Grieving Through the Holidays
Written by Clara Hinton   |  Dec 17, 2001
We are primed by TV and advertising to think of the holiday season as a time of magical moments. We are told in numerous ways that we should feel excitement and joy, that we should capture the glittering moments with family and friends, and that this is truly the most wonderful time of the year!

The truth, however, is that thousands and thousands of people will slump into holiday depression. Suicide rates climb high. Doctor’s offices fill with people suffering from stress and anxiety. And, many families get angry with each other and suffer broken relationships, rather than experiencing the peace and joy that is personified in movies and songs.

When a miscarriage has occurred close to the Christmas holiday, quite often the grieving process becomes complicated and more difficult. Society is telling us we must be happy—no matter what. Yet, miscarriage brings an aching heart, shattered dreams, and depression often comes knocking at the door of the heart. It is extremely painful to lose a baby!

For many couples, just the word baby brings an outburst of tears. Seeing a Christmas play can be overwhelming because it is too painful to look at small, angelic-like children innocently singing Christmas carols. Hearing the words “baby in a manger” can even trigger feelings of despondency. There are reminders everywhere, and it seems impossible to escape the sadness the miscarriage has brought.

Remind yourself often that grieving through the holidays can be hard work. You need to be especially kind to yourself during this season. You will feel different because of losing a baby, and that is perfectly normal. Friends and family might try to involve you in yuletide festivities, acting as though nothing has happened. If you do not feel quite up to baking cookies or hosting dinner guests, then say so. This is a time when it is okay to say “No thank you. I’m not feeling up to it this year. Next year I’m sure I’ll be more like myself.”

If the loss of your baby is so painful that you find yourself crying day and night and you just cannot function at all, seek the help of a doctor. You might need a short-term antidepressant to help you through the pain of losing a baby. A good doctor will help you determine a plan of action for warding off holiday depression due to miscarriage.

Cry. Tears have a very therapeutic effect on grief. When you cry, you release a lot of pent up feelings of disappointment, anger, jealousy, and holiday blues. Crying allows you the opportunity to “wash away” some of the grief.

Set mini goals for yourself. Maybe today’s goal is preparing one meal and getting dressed. The following day you might set a goal of getting out of the house for one hour. Meeting goals moves you forward in your holiday grief. Before you know it, you will look back and say, “I made it!”

A sense of renewed hope will fill your heart as you move into the New Year. And, along with hope comes the step-by-step journey towards healing from the painful grief brought on because of miscarriage.
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