Denial and Isolation - I think that this would have to be the hardest stage next to anger to going through during the holidays. A person may feel guilty for not feeling like participating in family functions or keeping family traditions that have been going on for years. It is important I think to remember that we can still celebrate the fact that we have family that love us and will be there when we are ready to break our isolation. Family traditions are a wonderful way to remember the past and spend time with family. The great thing about traditons, they change from time to time and can always be done next year. For some, traditions may be a way to start moving foreword.
Anger - During the anger stage you may not think that there is any positive way to answer this question. I would have to say that there is as moving foreword is about knowing that despite how we are feeling now, this to will end, During this stage we need to celebrate the fact that we are passionate about those things and people that mean so much to us. The holidays for some is a religeious event and for me, they are a time to spend with family. Family is that unconditional love that helps us move foreword and during this stage the knowledge that we are love loved is a reason to celebrate.
Bargaining - Think of new years resolutions and how hard it is to keep them. We need to celebrate that we are capable of making changes in our lives if we do it for the right reasons and not because it is a custome of the holiday. As the Serentiy prayer says ``...grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace....``
Depression - During the depression satage of grieving it is important to celebrate those who stand by you, who hold you up and give you a swift kick in the butt when you need it.
Acceptance - YOu may think that this would be the easiest stage to be going through during the holidays and I would have to say for many this is not the case. I find that sometimes during holidays when I watch a special movie or eat special food, the memories can come back. In most cases I find these moments are short as I can use my new coping skills to work through the moment.
There is always one very important thing to celebrate at anytime of the year and at any way of feeling: I am loved, I can love and I am alive.