Family Not Getting Along
Hopefully there is at least one person you are able to connect with in your family. This may be the time to reflect and determine if whatever it is that is keeping you and family apart really worth it? Is it time for healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation? If you believe that nothing is egregious in nature, reach out to your family. Find a way to talk it out in a manner that everyone is heard and can walk away feeling as though are happy with the outcome. If this can’t be done, and such situations do exist, then it’s time to reassess how you view family and who is in your family circle.
Holidays don’t have to spent with blood relatives. Friends, coworkers, church members, etc. can all become your extended family with whom you celebrate the holidays with. Additionally, you can spend the time with only select individuals within your family to keep your sanity. You don’t have to be with everyone you are related to. If having peace in your home means to not invite your sister, brother, mom, cousin, etc.—don’t invite them! It is okay to say “no”. Say “no” in order to say “yes” to yourself and make sure that you are happy.
Loss of loved ones
This is never an easy time, especially if it is the first holiday without the loved on or the person did around the holidays. The pain may never subside, you just figure out how to manage and move forward. There are many ways to keep the person’s memory alive even though they aren’t there with you like maintaining some of the traditions they started or taking time during the holidays to talk about them with others, particularly family. While the aforementioned may be great, grief and loss during this time of year is difficult to get past. In knowing this may be a time of year that evokes memories please remember the following:
be aware of your limitations during this time
it’s okay to cry
plan ahead, you know what your family may do, avoid it at all cost if you aren’t strong enough to endure
let people know what is going on with you
be gentle with yourself
Always remember that it’s absolutely okay to not be okay during this holiday season.
Incarcerated Family Member
Having a loved one in jail or prison creates a hole that cannot be filled. The family that is living their lives daily are experiencing their own loss of not having their loved one with them, while the individual incarcerated is also feeling dejected and not part of the family because they aren’t there. Things can be done, dependent upon how close you life to your incarcerated family member/spouse/friend/etc.
plan to visit during the holiday season—a visit during this time is a priceless act for an incarcerated individual
accept their calls and/or write them letters
know they are struggling mentally and emotionally the moment November comes
let them know they aren’t forgotten, in whatever way makes sense for your relationship