Holidays Make Loss Especially Difficult

Holidays are a time when the world seems to slow down. We concentrate on what is important. Time is typically centered on relaxing and enjoying ourselves with family and dear friends. We nurture and celebrate our relationships, undistracted by everyday life. Consequently, any losses are felt more acutely during this time. If the sadness is related to the loss of a relationship for example, the holidays can make the loss even more painful.

Loss can cause many changes in our lives and can alter how we perceive the roles we play. If my child has passed away, am I still a mother? Am I half a person without my spouse? If I have lost my job, am I still a valuable member of society? Our self-esteem may plummet and we may question our identity.

As we struggle to find meaning connected to our loss, we may find our faith or beliefs questioned. Why is it that something so unfair has happened to us? How could our Higher Power let something this painful occur? If we feel this way during a holiday that is set up around our faith and core beliefs, bitterness and anger can become a real problem.

Holidays are often a time of great joy. Everything glitters with the richness of light and love. When we are in the depths of anguish and despair, we may find it hard to experience beauty. It seems that everyone around us can enjoy the festivities and this magnifies how alone we feel. Our experience with grief is unique to us. No one else can feel exactly what we feel. Also, as individuals, every loss we have will be a different experience from all our other losses. Another person cannot completely understand how we feel.

When we lose a loved one we must eventually learn how to move on. Somehow, we must get through our everyday routines despite the absence. Similarly, the holidays make us revisit the mourning process. We must adjust, once again, to this "hole in our lives" at what previously may have been a very special time.

Just as we cannot anticipate the extent of a loss, we cannot be completely prepared for how difficult the holidays may be. However, just knowing it may happen and not being surprised can help. We may have lost a piece of ourselves, but chances are that, in that death or change, we have been given something as well. If we can find out what that is, we can honor it. It is our own priceless holiday gift to ourselves.

Make a Free Call for Confidential Help
The HealthQuest EAP has helped many State of Kansas families deal with loss. The EAP’s Kansas network of meticulously selected counselors are well skilled in dealing with all types of grief, loss, and major life changes. Call 24/7, 1-888-275-1205 (option 7).


Grab-A-Cab During the Holidays

We all know that drinking and driving is dangerous and illegal. We also realize that sometimes, unanticipated situations occur when we have too much to drink and should not drive. The Grab-A-Cab program can help keep employees and family members safe. This simple and confidential program is one of the services offered by the HealthQuest EAP.

If you are ever in a position where you have had too much to drink, we sincerely encourage you to designate a driver or take a cab home. If you take a cab, get a receipt, and send it to the EAP. They will reimburse you for the fare confidentially. Send your receipt and your return address to: Alternatives, 3100 Broadway, Suite 313, Kansas City, Missouri 64111. To take advantage of the program, there must be a cab company in your town. You may use the program twice per year. There is a maximum of $40.00 each time.

Know When to Say When
Using the chart below may help you determine your limit, and how much is too much. Please keep in mind that the chart shows only averages and research clearly indicates a wide range of responses even for individuals of the same age, weight or gender. For some, for example, one drink may be too many. If we can answer any questions, please call the HealthQuest Employee Assistance Program confidentially at 1-888-275-1205 (option 7).