Grief and the Holidays

Holidays are about togetherness and joy.  When one is grieving during the holiday season, togetherness and joy with their loved one is not an option.  Holidays are innately more difficult and only magnify the loss.The sadness feels sadder and the loneliness goes deeper. 
The need for support may be the greatest during the holidays.  It’s recommended that individuals and families who are grieving acknowledge the potential difficulties during the holiday season.  Planning ahead and anticipating activities can alleviate additional stressors.  Honoring one’s loved one at the holidays can also be therapeutic; therefore, giving specific remembrance to the loved one at a particular time and place is important to contemplate.  
Grief has a unique way of giving one the permission to really evaluate what parts of the holidays are enjoyable and what parts aren’t.  Remember, there is no right or wrong way to handle the holidays in grief.  One has to decide what is right for his/herself (and children) and one has every right to change his/her mind as well. 
Holidays are clearly some of the roughest terrain navigated after a loss and there is no rule book!  Although holidays can be an intensely sad time for grieving individuals and families, they may also have moments of laughter and joy.  Acknowledge and embrace these moments and honor them too as everyone deserves happiness.
Please click on the links below to read articles on navigating and honoring yourself, your grief, and your loved one during the holidays.