Single Bells

By: Mauryeen O’Brien
Monday, November 9, 2015

Sister Mauryeen O'Brien, grief specialist, shares some coping strategies for single parents as they face the holiday season. She provides simple ideas for keeping the holidays simple.

by Mauryeen O’Brien

If a recent death has left you a single parent, you have your own unique challenges this holiday season. Mauryeen O’Brien, a coordinator for ministry to the bereaved and divorced for the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, says the single-parent family will benefit greatly from keeping the holidays simple. Here are her suggestions on how to do that.

  • You can’t do alone all that you and your partner once did, physically or financially. Understand that time with you is what your children want most especially this year.
  • Invite your children to do some of the things your partner once did, like helping to decorate the tree or bake the cookies. Things may not turn out as perfectly, but for many children it is healing to be able to accomplish what Mom or Dad used to do.
  • Consider observing fewer holiday traditions or starting new ones. Again, involve the kids in the decision-making. For instance, one family decided to have a live tree because “Dad would want us to,” but to forego their usual Christmas caroling because “We just can’t face those families without Dad along.”
  • Consider having a party at your place this year. This can lend stability to this new single life for you. It’s a little easier to stay in control of your social life if you are in familiar territory as host or hostess.
  • Take care of yourself. Your children will fare much better if you aren’t anxious about them, overly tired, frustrated with gift-giving, and busy remembering everyone but you. It serves your family well when you are healthy.

PRINT ARTICLE

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the letters you see in the image.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Holiday Healing

Believe it or not, the holidays are almost here. Very shortly, some of us will prepare a list of things so we can get ready for the season. It may look like this… Christmas cards? Check! Hanukka...

Will I Always Feel This Bad?

When someone you love has died, the holidays are hard. Not only are you grieving the person who has died, but you are also grieving the loss of the holiday and how you shared it wiith that person. ...

What's So Happy About the Holidays?

If someone you love has died, you may be surprised at how you feel about upcoming holidays or special days. Observances that used to be fun-filled may be overshadowed by anxiety, apprehension and s...

What Happens After Christmas

Sister Mauryeen O'Brien explains how we can adapt to life after the death of a loved one and how we can face the cold world of winter after the Holidays are over. Here's an excerpt from here story:...

Unhappy Holidays

Susan Smith, author and editor, shares interviews with grief experts on how to cope with the holidays after a loved one has died.  She shares ideas for making the holidays easier to face and p...

The Christmas Tablecloth

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they sa...

Not Just Another Day

Sherry Williams White, nurse, writer and grief specialist, shares some ideas for handling those special days that you once shared with your loved one. She explains how important it is to trust...

Hope for the Holidays

It’s about this time of the year that holiday decorations appear on the store shelves, radios play seasonal songs and people make plans to be together for those special days. But for many of us, th...

Holidays: A Survival Guide

As if each ordinary day isn’t difficult and painful enough for the bereaved to survive, along comes the holiday season with its warmth and good cheer and its traditions and customs of fam...

Holidays are Hard Days

The holidays are difficult for all of us but when a loved one has died, the emotions of grief and the emotions tied to the holidays can be overwhelming. Susan Smith, editor and writer shares interv...