Easing The Impact Of Grief During The Holidays

December 22, 2016 by Miller Funeral & Cremation Services Staff  


There’s something about theholidays that brings out the best memories and, in turn, reminds us of what (or who) is missing. When grieving, it may seem like the rest of the world is light-hearted and joyful, which can amplify a sense of loss.


The effects of this season are understandable and normal. They also open the door for making space, both for self-care and new traditions. The following are some suggestions for dealing with grief during the holidays and allowing others to lend their support.


Coping With Grief During The Holidays

  • Be gentle with yourself. There is no right or wrong when it comes to your feelings or your decision to celebrate. If doing something to include the memory of your departed loved one is too much, it’s alright to focus elsewhere. On the other hand, you may wish to share your fondest memories with family and friends. In any case, take time to reflect on what’s most authentic for you
  • Ask for extra support. This season can be extremely difficult and can dredge up feelings of depression and loss. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of your emotions. Prepare in advance for these possibilities by speaking to a counselor, a trusted friend, clergy member, or grief supportgroup. 
  • Set boundaries. Naturally, your loved ones will be anxious to see you smile, including you in every party, gathering, or dinner. Remember, it’s okay to say “no.” Although it may be helpful to be surrounded by loved ones, there should be no expectation that you must accept every invitation.
  • Take breaks as needed. If you begin feeling overwhelmed, balance the obligations with time for yourself. Book a relaxing massage, take on a creative project, or go for a walk with a beloved pet.
  • Accept the change. Although it may seem easier to avoid unpleasant feelings or to ignore reminders of your loss, accepting that this year won’t be the same is necessary for healing. It also allows you the space to experience the holiday in new ways.


Facing Loss Through New Traditions

One way to cope with this season is to find new traditions and rituals. Some may seek traditions that honor the deceased while others may choose to create entirely new activities that have meaning separate from the past. A few creative ways to inspire new traditions include:

  • Traveling to a new city or country with friends or other loved ones.
  • Decorating a favorite garden, plant, tree, or space that was special to the departed.
  • Spending time with young family members who embody the innocence, happiness, and delight of the holidays.
  • Making a donation in your loved one’s honor or volunteering for a cause that was important to him or her.
  • Allowing others to host holiday dinners or opting for a potluck at your home.


No matter how you choose to observe the holidays after a significant loss, it will always feel different. However, over time, we hope your new traditions will become just as cherished and memorable.


From Miller Funeral Services & Cremation Society of Texas, we offer our warmest holiday wishes to you and your loved ones.

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