Spending the holidays without your loved one is incredibly difficult. And with so much happening this time of year, the thought of figuring out how to cope with grief and loss during the holiday season can be even more challenging. So let us inspire you with a couple of different ideas that might make the holidays a bit simpler this year.
When you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, starting a new tradition in their memory is an excellent way to help you navigate the holiday season. For instance, you could leave an empty place at the dinner table for them. Or you could set up a small shrine with a lit candle and their memorial register book.
Just as well, you could have a movie night where you buy your loved one’s favorite snacks and watch all of their most cherished holiday movies. You could make a night of it and invite friends and family, or you can take time to appreciate these new traditions in solitude. Either way, starting a new tradition that keeps the spirit of your loved one alive can help you cope with the grief you’re feeling.
Letting your loved ones know what you need is essential, no matter where you are in your grieving process or what time of year it is. But especially during the holiday season, when there are a myriad of activities taking place, it’s prudent to clearly express how you wish to celebrate, even if that means celebrating in solitude or not celebrating at all.
On the other hand, some will find comfort in participating in wintry activities, such as caroling and holiday parties, and that’s fine too. The important thing is to express clearly how you need to cope comfortably and in a way that’s helpful for you.
While some prefer to grieve in solitude, others might benefit significantly from serving others as they traverse the holiday season without their loved ones. Being of service doesn’t have to mean throwing an extravagant charity ball, either.
You can donate to your loved one’s favorite causes, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or even prepare a hot meal for your own family. Whatever you decide to do, sometimes helping others helps to focus your energy on positive works, and it can help remind you of the wonderful things the deceased cared about and did while they were alive.
Of course, the most crucial aspect of understanding how to cope with grief and loss during the holiday season is knowing when to give yourself some grace. Because grieving isn’t a neat or convenient process, sometimes you might think you’re ready to go out and enjoy festive activities again only to find that, when you show up, you still need some time to be alone.
And when things like this happen, it’s essential to remember that it’s natural, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up. So give yourself the grace to cope with your grief however you see fit.
We understand how difficult it can be to navigate the holidays after the loss of a loved one. And it is our ardent hope that this quick overview can provide some ideas that will help you cope with your grief this season.