Coping with Grief Over the Holidays

Finding Peace During a Difficult Time

Holiday celebrations, traditionally memorable for their joys and happiness, can be tough emotional sledding for those grieving the loss of a loved one. Experts counsel that acknowledging the fact that the holidays won’t be the same without the deceased is a first step toward being at peace with the activities unfolding around us.

Then, we need to decide what we can handle and how much responsibility we are willing to assume; this might mean letting others do the shopping or cooking. Getting enough rest is crucial; if we need time alone, we should honor that need.

It can help to create new traditions that include the deceased in a loving way. We might light a candle, display a photo or revisit photo albums of good times, thus including the life of our loved one in our conversations and celebrations. We could even hang a stocking in the name of the beloved for family and friends to stuff with notes, thereby sharing their feelings with us.

Holidays are not about “shoulds,” but about what’s comfortable and best for our family and us. If this is the first holiday without a loved one and celebrating seems impossible, we can instead celebrate winter, by engaging in a physical nature activity. Whatever we do, we can know that grieving is a necessary and healthy process and that healing is possible.

Adapted from, and

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Leafy Greens Lower Risk for Heart Disease

Teenagers that eat few leafy greens are at triple the risk for enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle, reducing blood pumping volumes, than teens that eat greens.

Physical Activity Deters Alzheimer's

Walking, dancing, gardening and other physical activities significantly improve brain volume and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Gooseberries are Good for the Gut

Malaysian subjects with gastrointestinal problems had less pain, vomiting and sleep loss when receiving an ayurvedic remedy known as Indian gooseberry.

Saunas Lower Blood Pressure

Four to seven saunas a week halved high blood pressure risk in a study of 1,621 Finnish men.

Positive Outlook Powers Osteoarthritis Patients

People with osteoarthritis that wake up feeling enthusiastic about getting things done in their day end up exercising more and feeling less plagued by symptoms.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags