Coping With Grief During the Holidays

Many of us look forward to the holidays as a happy time. However, we would like to take a few moments to acknowledge that the holidays can be a time where many of us may feel both joy and sorrow. And we want to offer some ideas for families that are navigating complicated feelings of loss and grief during this holiday season whatever the reason may be.

  • Explore what feels best: Every family copes with loss differently and some activities and traditions might be too hard right now. Discuss as a family what feels right for you during this time.
    • Some families may decide to turn down big holiday events or traditions as it may be too much. It’s ok to say no to events and activities or to change plans at the last minute.
    • Other families may find it helpful to continue with holiday engagements or to explore new holiday traditions.
  • Celebrate differently:  During the Covid-19 Pandemic, we all learned how to be flexible and do things differently. We have had to let go of some traditions and make new ones. This can be especially important when you are also coping with grief. You may choose not to cook a big holiday meal and order in instead. Or maybe you’ll skip decorating the whole front yard and instead cut out snowflakes with your kids for a few windows.
  • Do something to remember your loved ones: You may want to start a new holiday activity in honor of your loved ones. You could create memorial ornaments. Or light a candle in their honor. Or you might talk about or write down and share your memories.
  • Connect to others through volunteering: There are often many opportunities during the holidays to do something for others in your community who may be in need. You can give or volunteer in memory of a loved one or for a cause that was important to them.
  • Allow yourselves time and space: Grieving is a process and extra stress can make the process feel even harder. It will take time and there may be moments when you or your kids just need to take some time to lie down, or read a book, or spend some time alone, even in the middle of celebrating the holidays. Do what feels right for you.

It is hard to cope with grief at any time, especially during the holidays. Remember to be kind to yourself and your family and reach out to others if you need help.

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Text: © Kids In Transition to School 2021

Image: © Sagasan |


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