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Grief and the Holidays

Two individuals holding hands at the dinner table

Grief and the Holidays

Holidays are often loaded with traditions and so many reminders of the way things were. As a result of all the traditions and reminders, holidays are also full of memories, which can make these times very hard and painful. Managing the many feelings that accompany holidays is done best with advanced preparation, if you are able to do so. While kids and family members may want things to be as they always have been, life is different now and holidays do not have to be the way they were. In fact, they can never be exactly as they were, now that someone is missing. Traditions can change and holidays can be skipped if you and your family are not ready.

Many people say the time leading up to a holiday—the anticipation of it all—is the hardest.

Here are some things to consider:

  1. Identify ways to take a break from holiday reminders and triggers, especially on tv and at the store
  2. Manage expectations by telling family and friends how you are feeling about the holiday and what they should or should not expect from you
  3. Honor your feelings and needs
  4. Think of a new tradition
  5. Give yourself permission to take a break from it all

Additional Resources

10 Tips for Navigating the Holidays by Good-Grief.org