Tips for Dealing with Grief Around the Holidays and Special Occasions

By: Ian Elliott
Friday, November 27, 2015

The holidays and other special occasions can be a particularly difficult time to deal with the loss of a loved one. The emphasis on getting together and being cheerful can make the feelings associated with loss even more sharply defined. Also, we may think that grief is supposed to look a certain way and we don't want to have to act differently than we feel. The truth is that grief is different for everyone and it’s okay to feel exactly as you do. Here are a few tips for dealing with grief, in whatever form it takes, while the festivities are taking place.

Taking Space Without Becoming Isolated

It is okay to take space to feel your feelings and grieve the loss of a loved one. This is healthy and normal. It is not healthy to lock yourself away, and stop speaking to people who care about you. During the holidays, remember that it is okay to let people know you need a little more space than usual, but make sure that you do let them know, don't just disappear! There are moments for sinking into your pillow and having a good cry, but at a certain point in each day, or week you need to get up and wash your face and put some clean clothes on and greet the world. If you can't do this then it is time to ask for help.

Finding Support

It may seem as though some people have tons of friends and family and are never alone, but we all have moments, especially when we are dealing with grief, that we feel incredibly lonely. The holidays can really accentuate this feeling. Though it may not feel like it sometimes, we are never truly alone in this world full of people. If it is too hard to reach out to a friend or family member, then there are professionals there to support you. In most communities you can find individual or group bereavement counselling, otherwise any professional counsellor will have knowledge of how to support your process. Especially during the holidays, a non-judgmental ear to talk to can provide a huge relief.

Taking Care of Your Health

The holidays are famous for excessive consumption of food and alcoholic beverages. Even when we are feeling our best, we often live to regret binging on chocolate, wine or whatever our guilty pleasure happens to be. When we are grieving these can have far more detrimental effects. Alcohol is a depressant. Though it may seem to lift us up at first, or numb the pain, it will inevitably lead to a downward spiral if over-consumed. Our bodies need healthy food and lots of water to heal from stress and emotional upset. Get lots of rest and eat a salad!

Honouring Your Loved One

If you are used to spending this holiday or special occasion with the loved one you have lost, then it may feel daunting to face it without them. Remember, they live on in your memories and love for them. You can continue to do the special things you used to do together and to think about the way they would have enjoyed something. You can make new holiday rituals that honour their memory, or give gifts to less fortunate people in their honour. Sometimes, the best way to deal with your grief during the holidays is to let your love shine brighter than ever before.

Leave a comment
Please enter the letters you see in the image.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Understanding Funeral Pricing

Most people aren’t aware of exactly how expensive a funeral can be until they are actually confronted with the expenses suddenly. This process involves the services of various funeral home employee...

How Can You Help a Friend as they go Through the Stages of Grief?

It’s not easy to see a friend and loved one go through grief. You want to help them, support them, and comfort them, but don’t know the right way to go about it. Every individual has a different wa...

5 Memorable Ways to Honor Your Loved One Once They've Passed On

Death doesn’t weaken the bond you shared with your loved one that has passed on and grieving family members look for ways to keep the memory of the dear departed alive. There are a number of differ...

I Have Pre-Planned At One Funeral home, Can I Switch Funeral Homes?

Planning a funeral for oneself isn’t always an easy task, but today many people opt for this type of funeral arrangement. They sign a contract with the funeral home of their choice and prepay for t...

How Does a Celebration of Life Differ from a Funeral?

There are a number of different customs and traditions that deal with the loss of a loved one. Most follow these traditions and arrange for a formal funeral service prescribed by their religious or...

Holidays Without a Loved One - How to Cope

The grieving process is very challenging and many people approach it differently. But regardless of where a person is in the grieving process, holidays can be stressful and painful. Holidays are a ...

3 Misconceptions about Pre-Planning Your Funeral

Planning funerals can be a long, stressful, and painful process for a grieving family. Everyone has their opinion of how these funerals need to be carried out and that can lead to conflict. The bes...

Can I Have a Cremation and a Visitation?

Many people believe that they can’t hold a visitation before the cremation and that makes them hesitate to make a choice. Visitations offer family members and friends the opportunity to say their f...

Personalizing a Funeral Service on a Budget

Funerals can be expensive, and it seems that the more personalized you decide to make a funeral, the more the bill becomes. For those who are planning a funeral for a loved one, you can personalize...

Memorial Service Ideas for Families Who Choose Cremation

When a loved one dies, there are several options that are available to the family of the loved one that has passed. While most people think of burial, many people are turning to cremation. Crematio...