Grief & Healing

Holiday Grief


A heart anguishing question someone who is going through the death of a loved one may have is, "How do I make it through the holidays when I am feeling so much sadness, and how do I get through the holidays when I miss my loved one so terribly?"


The holidays are excruciatingly hard for those who are deep in grief due to a loved one's death.


Grievers deeply miss their loved ones, and the holidays hold so many memories; but now those wonderful memories of holidays past may bring intense heartache. Traditions once held dear now hurt and sting because a loved one is no longer here.


So what is a griever to do with traditions?


If you feel like doing your usual traditions, by all means, do them...and do not feel guilty for allowing yourself joy. Your loved one(s) enjoyed and loved seeing you filled with joy while they were here. They would still love to enjoy seeing you filled with joy once again, even as you go through your grief.


If you do not feel up to doing your usual traditions, honor your grief by allowing yourself the freedom to feel what you need to feel. Please do not feel guilty for needing to have a much more relaxed and gentle holiday season.


Both are appropriate responses to grief.


Please do not feel forced to do or feel anything, or allow pressures to cause you to do anything that doesn't honor where you are in your grief process.


Some grievers may want to do a tradition they enjoyed doing with their loved one as a way of remembering them and honoring them, while that may be too painful for some at the present moment.


Talk to your remaining loved ones and share your heart by explaining how you are feeling. Ask them for their love and support during the holiday season. Surround yourself with a lot of support!