Grief and the Holidays

Holidays are a time when families and friends get together. Often, during these times, we are easily and frequently reminded that our loved one is gone. It is a fact that is often hard to accept. Sometimes we feel ambushed by our own feelings.

Each of us is going to respond in our own way. Anticipate that there will be rough patches, pay attention to how you are doing, and take gentle care of yourself.

Being sad is reasonable. Try and balance it by:

  • remembering happy times with the person you loved.
  • sharing happy memories with people who knew your loved one.
  • celebrating the person you loved by starting a new tradition. For example, you could donate your time or funds to a charity they supported.

Being happy is reasonable. Try to be open to feeling happiness in small things and not feel guilty for doing so.

Reach out:

  • plan for a balance of quiet times and times with family and friends.
  • talk with people who know you and tell them how you are really doing.
  • ask your friends to help you with your rough patches.
  • if you feel overwhelmed by grief or sadness and it affects your ability to live your life, seek professional help.

Elizabeth Bulmer, MSW, RSW

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