Grieving During the Holidays

Posted by on Dec 28, 2017 in Ask The Therapist | 0 comments

The holidays can be stressful enough on their own; add grief to the mix and they can seem unbearable. Here are some ways to cope with grief during the holidays.


1.) Be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, whatever they are: sadness, anger, loneliness, etc. They are all a part of the grieving process and they don’t magically go away because it’s the holidays. Do try to be mindful of what you plan for the holidays so as not to overwhelm yourself.


2.) Consider traditions. Are there traditions that you had in the past that you would like to continue, even without the loved one? Are there traditions that you want to discontinue? Are there new traditions that you want to start? All of these options are OK. It is NOT a betrayal of the loved one to carry on; in fact, it is very likely that the would want you to do so. It is perfectly fine to celebrate the holidays AND remember the loved one at the same time.


3.) Remember, the anticipation of the day can often be worse than the actual day itself. We very frequently talk ourselves into believing that an event is going to be terrible, awful, etc., but when it arrives, it is not nearly as bad as we anticipated. Yes, there might be some pain as you go through the holidays without your loved one…but you can and will get through.


4.) Surround yourself with supports. This could be family, friends, clergy, mental health professionals, co-workers…anyone who is able to provide some emotional support for you. There is no shame in reaching out, and you don’t have to be alone.



By: Laura M. Wheeler, M.A.Ed., LPCC, LMFT

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