While the holiday season is usually the happiest time of the year, it can be a time of incredible sorrow for many families and friends who have lost a loved one or are grieving the loss of family traditions as a result of the pandemic. No matter what you are grieving, the holidays and dark winter can make this time particularly lonely and challenging. 

Here are five tips that have helped Annette grieve in healthy ways during the holiday season ever since her oldest daughter, Elizabeth, passed away from Mitochondrial Disease seven years ago: 

Continue Their Legacy Through Stories

Share your favorite stories of your loved one with your family and friends to continue and honor their lives and legacy. 

Make Their Favorite Holiday Dish

Food is such an important part of the holiday season, and you can add a level of meaning to your menu by creating your loved one’s favorite dish. 

Decorate Your Home with Memories

You can pull out old photos and videos, crafts, ornaments, cards, and other items that remind you of your loved one to use as holiday decor. The best decorations are the ones that mean the most and fill your home with memories.

Foster Generosity

Finding ways to be generous and give back during this time allows Annette to repurpose her pain and help others. Generosity really is the grieving heart’s antidote. 

Prioritize Self Care

This tip looks different for everyone, but in a nutshell, it’s important that you don’t push your needs to the side. When you take good care of yourself, you will be able to take care of others as well. 

Annette hopes  these tips will help you this holiday season, but if you are facing continued grief and need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor or another mental health professional. 

Know that during this difficult time, Annette is grieving with you.

While your grief will never fully go away, it will change with time so that you can find joy again. 

Annette is grateful for the second chance she has found through continuing her daughter’s legacy through her work and in the ways she honors her memory during the holidays. We are confident that with time,  you can find this peace and purpose as well. 

From our “family” to yours,  we wish you Happy Holidays.

Annette Hines has been practicing in the areas of Special Needs, Elder Law, and Estate Planning for more than 20 years. Ms. Hines brings personal experience with special needs to her practice and podcasts as the mother of two daughters, one of whom passed away from Mitochondrial disease in November 2013. This deep, personal understanding of special needs fuels her passion for quality special needs planning and drives her dedication to help others within the special needs community. 

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