Grief During the Holidays

Dealing with Grief During the Holidays

© by Marty Tousley, Bereavement Counselor

Once again the holiday season is upon us, and while these days are meant to be filled with joy and family unity, this time of year can be very difficult for those of us in mourning. We may feel caught between what we are feeling and what we think others are expecting of us. We wonder how we can possibly get through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day and all the rest, acting as if nothing has happened. While friends may be in the mood to party, we’re feeling the need to focus on the life of our loved one who has died, on how much that individual meant to us (and to others), on how this loss is affecting us, and on how we’ll manage to survive in the presence of such an absence.

Celebrating in the midst of grief may seem to us like an act of disloyalty, as if to trivialize or make light of our loss, which leaves us feeling a twinge of guilt. We may worry that we’ll be exposed to the empty platitudes or insensitive remarks of others who don’t want us to be so sad, haven’t suffered a significant loss, and cannot possibly know how bereft we feel. We may prefer to avoid the celebratory scene altogether, since being with others only serves as a painful reminder that our loved one is no longer here to celebrate with us.

Over the years, I have assembled a number of articles at Self-Healing Expressions to complement my Grief Healing eCourse, The First Year of Grief: Help for the Journey. These articles are aimed at helping the bereaved navigate their way through these difficult days . If you are mourning a loss of a loved one, I hope something here might provide some support to you this holiday season.

Dear Marty ~ How Do We Deal with the Empty Chair at the Holidays?

Including Your Absent Loved One in Family Celebrations

Grief during the Holidays: Ways to Cope