Summer fun while grieving… how do I do this?

Warmer days, longer nights and the excitement of school coming to a close. Summer is right around the corner, and with that comes barbecues, pool parties, celebrations and more. For many, this is what summer is all about, but for those who are navigating a death and are grieving, the idea of a social experience or celebratory event can be daunting. Am I ready? Will people ask me questions? Will I feel overwhelmed? Will my emotions take over?

These are all very normal thoughts and feelings to have while entering unchartered territory. To support you in this transition we thought we would share some helpful tips for participating in social spaces.

  • No need to go from zero to hero this summer. Setting expectations for yourself that feel safe and supportive can help in the transition. Perhaps your goal is simply to stop by the event for thirty minutes. Maybe you create a check-in with a caregiver at a determined time to evaluate your coping.
  • If you’re worried that people will ask about your grief, or the person who has died, come up with a one-liner or script that you’re comfortable sharing. This will take the pressure off in the moment and ease your anxiety.
  • Know that it’s OK to take breaks; do some deep breathing in a washroom, go for a walk, or simply step outside for a breath of fresh air. Taking care of yourself is important.
  • Identify a safe person you can speak with or call if you get overwhelmed and want to talk, or even leave.

Being surrounded by others having fun and being joyful can feel like a sharp contrast to what you’re feeling inside, and may trigger strong and maybe even unexpected emotions. It may feel lonely or isolating to be grieving while surrounded by celebration. Know that you are not alone and that there are people who can relate.

Upopolis is here to support you and is a safe space to connect with others and feel heard and understood. Let us know about your experiences this summer on Upopolis! To join, e-mail support@upopolis.com.

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