LABOR DAY IS MONDAY SEPT. 2 TAKE A “TIME-OUT” FROM THE HARD LABOR OF GRIEF THIS HOLIDAY
Updated: Jan 10
By Jill S. Cohen, NYC family grief counselor
Labor means work. In fact, it usually means “hard work.” Grief work is hard labor too. Don’t underestimate the kind of work that a grieving person does every day, though it may often be done silently, discreetly and is usually invisible to others.
In our country, a good portion of the workforce, with the exception of some industries such as retail, transportation, and hospitality, is not expected to work on Labor Day.
As a grief counselor, I would recommend to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, that they attempt to take a time-out from the grief work for that one day. I know it sounds impossible, and it might be… but it’s worth a try.
It could really be liberating to make a conscious effort to say, “Today, I will not really work at this grief. I’ll try to give myself a time-out from the hard labor involved in working with my feelings, and thoughts and ruminations and images in my head.”
It's only one day, and Labor Day is a holiday, after all. There’s no guilt to be had in giving grief a holiday off from its work.
When I suggest this to my clients, some just “yes” me and laugh, doubting that it could really ever be possible to stop working the grief. Others respond that it would be so worthwhile to give it a try, especially if it works. It would be such a relief to give grief its one day off.
So, try to relax, breathe, watch a movie, read a fun, easy book, go out with friends … something … other than grief. That would be the best holiday you could give yourself this Labor Day (Monday Sept. 2.) Because GRIEF will come right back and visit on Tuesday the 3rd and you can go right back to working it.