Hope For The Holidays

Celebrate Tender Memories Thoughtfully

The health, safety and well-being of our community is a top consideration for all we do at Spicer-Mullikin. It is in the interest of the families we serve that we have decided not to host our in-person “Hope for the Holidays” event this year.

We are pleased to share that one of our most cherished traditions of the event will continue, the personalized crystal angels. If you would like to request one in memory of your loved one, please complete the order form included in the envelope and mail it back to us by November 19, 2021.

Losing a loved one can throw your life into a whirlwind of change. Spicer-Mullikin will always be your anchor. Whether your grief journey is just beginning or you’ve been walking it for a while, we are here for you every step of the way.

Trust us to be your resource for support, compassion and care.

Please call us at (302) 368-9500 or email us at [email protected] to learn more about our aftercare services and grief support groups, or join our supportive Facebook community for comfort and inspiration in your time of grief.

A Guide to Handling The Holidays

The death of a loved one can cause us to look toward the holiday season with apprehension. You may be wondering how you will get through this time and may be asking yourself: How can I celebrate the way everyone says I should when I don’t feel happy or joyous? Should I do what family and friends want, or do what feels right for me? We hope that the following suggestions are helpful in coping with one of the most difficult times of the year for people who are grieving.

  • Be careful of “shoulds”—only you know what is right for you and your family. Each family member’s needs and wants may be different, so discussion and compromise will be helpful.

  • There is no right or wrong way to handle the days. Family traditions may continue to be shared and/or new ones may be started.

  • Don’t be afraid to make changes. Changes can help make things more comfortable for all.
    • Open presents at a different time of day or on a different day than in the past.
    • Let others take over roles you may have had; let someone else decorate, cook, buy the tree, light the Hanukkah candles, etc.
    • New activities tried this year do not necessarily have to be repeated next year.

  • Adjust your expectations. Recognize the limits on what you can manage. Let other family members and friends know what you plan to do and what you won’t be doing, so they will not be asking for more than you can give.

  • Before making any decisions about greeting cards, holiday baking, dinner, etc. ask yourself these questions:
    • Do I really enjoy doing this? Do my family members really enjoy doing this?
    • Can the task be shared by other family members?
    • Can we do this in a different, more comfortable way?

  • Get enough rest throughout the season. Emotionally, physically and psychologically, this time of year is draining; even more so if you are grieving.

  • Plan what you are going to do and break the plan down into individual tasks to be accomplished one task at a time. Doing things one at a time can make the season seem less overwhelming. Perhaps someone else can do some of the tasks.

  • It is important to experience and express the sadness that comes during the holidays. Grief which is ignored can cause irritability and fatigue.

  • The holiday season and other special times throughout the year magnify feelings of loss. You might keep the positive memory of the loved one alive by doing one of the following:
    • Donate a gift or money to charity in your loved one’s name.
    • Do something for someone else (volunteer to make a meal for a shut-in, visit the elderly, etc.)
    • Offer a toast or prayer to your loved one during the holiday meal.
    • Decorate the grave site in a special way or plant a tree or indoor garden in your loved one’s name.

  • Share your concerns and feelings with others. They may be feeling the same way.

  • Even in times of grief it is normal and fine to feel good and to have moments of joy. If good feelings come to you during the holidays, or at any other special time of the year, enjoy them. We do not show any disrespect to our loved ones when we find happiness in our lives. A moment of joy can be a tribute to the joy our loved ones brought us during their lifetime.

  • Often, after the first anniversary, the people in your life may expect you to have moved on, to “be over it.” We are never “over it”, but the experience of many bereaved is that eventually grief becomes gentler and they are able to enjoy the holidays again. Hold on to hope!