Special occasions and events

Whether we like it or not sooner than later we have to face family occasions. This may be your child’s birthday, the anniversary of the loss or someone in your extended family is getting married. How do we deal with these dates without feeling guilty for not wanting to be there for the ‘happy couple’; handle the death day or mark the birthday which once had been a celebration but now brings the reality of our situation to its ultimate. For each parent these are unavoidable events and how we cope with them will depend on our basic instincts, it is for the individual to work out how to do this.
For myself, I had to face things head-on, since I couldn’t avoid them I would consider options i.e. Was it important to me that the occasion was marked by a party? If not perhaps I would go to a ‘safe’ place, sometimes a church or coffee shop alone but not isolated, where I could reflect on what happened, shed quiet tears, allowing a bit of self-pity and then when I felt ready to rejoin the hubbub of life, I would feel surprisingly refreshed and a little bit stronger.
The important thing is to be kind to yourself don’t believe that you have to be responsible for how other people may react to your choice of coping strategies, unless they have also lost a child they cannot comprehend, just smile politely, shrug and move on with your day.

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