Grief and the New Year
Dr. Pamela A. Malone, LCSW-S, Fellow in Thanatology
Clinical Director, The Austin Center for Grief & Loss
The dawning of a new year reminds of us of who is not with us. It can make for a not-so-happy new year. However, it can signal a time of renewal, of replenishing, of reflection and of resolutions.
There are several suggested lists of New Year's resolutions for those who are grieving. This one is from Hospice of the Red River Valley (https://www.hrrv.org/):
· I resolve to not place time limits on my grief; it will take as long as it takes.
· I resolve to acknowledge my grief as my own; that it is as individual as I am and will take shape in its own unique way.
· I resolve to be mindful of the need for flexibility when it comes to the expectations of others (and myself).
· I resolve to not be pressured by “shoulds.”
· I resolve to cut myself some slack when I am not as productive as I might like, behave in ways uncharacteristic of my usual self or simply “don’t care.”
· I resolve to accept that others may not understand my pain, and it is probably not realistic to expect that of them. (Until one has walked the path, how can one know the terrain?)
· I resolve to express my feelings without guilt, and not apologize for tears.
· I resolve to be grateful for concerned others who willingly just listen.
· I resolve to recognize that my acceptance of assistance and support of others allows them the joy of giving.
· I resolve to forgive those who say or do hurtful things, recognizing that unkindness is not intended.
· I resolve to extend to myself the same grace and patience I would to others, were they in my situation.
· I resolve to find some little way each day to begin to reinvest in life in an effort to move toward hope and a sense of purpose.
· I resolve to continue to speak my loved one’s name, tell our stories, and embrace my memories.
For more information on ways in which The Austin Center for Grief & Loss can offer you and your family support, please visit austingrief.org or all 512-467-7878 to schedule an intake appointment.