Back to articles

Handling the holidays after the loss off a loved one

Spirit, Show on Corporate Home

At a time when everyone is supposed to be full of cheer, those who have lost a loved one may feel sad, lonely and depressed during the holiday season.

If you or someone you know is journeying through the holidays with a heavy heart, here are some suggestions to help you manage and begin to heal:

  • Be gentle with yourself and set limits. Acknowledge that it isn’t going to be easy. Do the things that are very special or important to you. Do the best you can, but don’t worry if you can’t or don’t want to do it all. Know that it’s ok to be sad.
  • Plan ahead and make your needs known to family and friends. Loved ones are often more than happy to reach out during this difficult time, they just might not know what you need. Lean on them and let them know how they can help.
  • Don’t be afraid to make changes. Family traditions can bring us comfort, but tradition can also magnify the pain of your loss. It’s ok to forgo a tradition this year or start a new one.
  • Say no when you need to. You may decide not to put up the tree, host the family dinner at your house, send greeting cards and the list goes on. Know that whatever you choose to do this year, you may decide to handle things differently next year—and that’s ok.
  • Take care of yourself. It’s important to remember that it’s the anticipation of any holiday that can be much harder than the actual holiday. You will survive the season. Take good care of yourself and reach out for support when you need it.
  • Try not to be alone. Feel free to call up friends and family and ask for their companionship. Plan on spending time with those you are close to.

Sometimes one of the best ways to manage grief is to find a support group made up of people who have been through or are going through the same experience you are. Here are some events happening in our communities this holiday season: