GRIEVING AND VACATIONS. YES THEY CAN GO TOGETHER. SOMETIMES CALLED A “GRIEF-CATION”
Updated: Jan 10
Man, woman, married, single – never married, single-divorced ... and YES, SINGLE – WIDOWED.
Surprise, vacations are for everyone! If you want to do it, you CAN do it!
First thought: Vacation? Not me. I can’t go anywhere. I am in mourning. I am grieving the loss of a loved one. I need to stay sad. I need to avoid all possibilities of having a good time. What would people say if I go away and mourn my loss outside of my home and community? Can’t do it.
Second, revised thought: Vacations are not experiences only for the “happy all the time” people. They are not only for people with intact relationships and perfect family/friendship/partner units. They are for ANYONE who would benefit from a new experience. This may be just what I need to get out of my routine, to take a mini- break from the memories and people around me all the time, as I work through this loss.
Here’s how GRIEVING and VACATIONING can go hand in hand:
It’s okay to grieve in different surroundings. Changing your environment can lift your mood, can refresh you, can take you out of your comfort zone, in a good way.
A change of scenery can give you a fresh outlook on life. It reminds you that there is a whole world out there, outside of the confines of where you live. You’ll see people, who also may have had losses, who are still living and going about their activities in their own way. It can be reassuring that your life can and will resume when you’re ready.
After all, what can lift a mood and remind you of the force of nature, better than beautiful scenery? ---from great cathedrals to glaciers, to ocean colors to mountain heights. It’s almost impossible not to “feel” something, in the midst of it all. Allow yourself to forget, if only for a while, your own sadness.
New people. Imagine talking to people who don’t know your “story” and don’t look at you as if they don’t know what to say but they want to know the status of your grief. Wouldn’t it be a relief to be anonymous for a week or so? You can tell people that you are grieving a loss, or you don’t have to. You make the call. YOU CAN JUST BE YOU wherever you go and whenever you want.
Grieving gets lonely. When you stay for a prolonged period of time in your grief, you begin to close yourself off in unhealthy ways. Then, the longer it gets, the harder it is to re-enter your own life again. Go where there are people around, so that you feel that you are part of the world again.
Grieving can get crowded. Sometimes, it’s just too much to have people around constantly. They are helpful. They keep you company. They try to distract you from your sadness and “make it better”. But sometimes, YOU JUST NEED TO BE ALONE. A vacation gives you that possibility to gather up your thoughts, to re-inspire and invigorate you, to give you the needed time to FEEL, THINK, DISCOVER and MOURN on your own terms. And this is one of the best reasons to go on vacation!
AND, if you’ve learned only thing from the death of a loved one, it’s this.
LIFE IS FLEETING. DEATH CAN COME AT ANY TIME, READY OR NOT.
ABOVE ALL, LIFE IS WORTH ENJOYING. AND YOU DESERVE SOME ENJOYMENT, even though your guilt might tell you otherwise. After all, haven’t you just been through one of the worst times in your life???
Here’s an interesting article of the vacation journeys of a few people, while grieving.