Grieving: Getting Through the Holidays without Your Loved One

Getting Through the Holidays without Your Loved One

The holiday season is for being with our loved ones. It’s the time of the year that families look forward to getting together to celebrate and express gratitude. But for those who have lost a loved one, the annual holidays can also be the worst time of the year. Memories of good times with your loved one at past holidays can make the grieving process even more difficult.

Whether it’s the first holiday season since losing your loved one or many holidays have passed, the season can make you realize how much life has changed by the loss. It’s not easy but with time, you will and can get through the holidays.

Strategies to Get Through the Holidays

The first thing you should do to cope with grief during this holiday season is to prepare yourself for it. Acknowledge that it will be a difficult time and plan ahead to get the support that you need from friends and family. Below are ten tactics to help you get through this holiday season without your loved one:

  1. Allow Yourself to Feel All the Emotions – You may feel all range of emotions when it comes to the holidays. You could be sad one minute and happy the next minute. Allow yourself to experience all the emotions without feeling guilty. Experiencing laughter and joy doesn’t mean you are no longer sad and have forgotten your loved one.
  2. Set Realistic Expectations – Keep in mind that the holidays will be different without your loved one. Assess the events and tasks of celebrating and decide for yourself if you want to continue to celebrate.
  3. Seek Support from Others – Surround yourself with those who love and care about you. Plan some holiday activities with them to avoid feeling sad or isolated. If you need more encouragement, search for support groups or call a grief counselor to help you cope healthily.
  4. Create New Traditions – It’s okay to let go of old traditions and start new ones. Get creative and do something different. Change your old traditions to accommodate the new phase in your life.
  5. Give to Others – Do something nice for others in memory of your loved one. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or donate gifts to those less fortunate. Doing acts of kindness can be good for your grieving soul.
  6. Honor Your Memories – Find a unique way to honor the memory of your loved one. Memorializing the person you have lost can help remind you that even though your loved one is gone, the love is still alive.
  7. Grief is Normal – Time may not heal all pain but allowing yourself to go through the grieving process will help you recover faster. Experiencing the pain instead of trying to escape from it will help you feel better in the long run.
  8. Setting Boundaries – Don’t make an appearance at holiday parties or events if it doesn’t feel right. Friends and family may try to convince you to participate, but you certainly don’t have to please everyone. But keep in mind that life still goes on for them, and it’s okay that they are celebrating.
  9. Take Care of Yourself – Try to avoid using drugs or alcohol to escape the pain. Doing healthy activities such as writing in a journal, going for a walk or eating a healthy meal can help you get through the grief period quicker.
  10. Cancel the Holiday – It’s okay to cancel the holiday altogether if you are not feeling it. The holidays will come around again, and by giving yourself a year to grieve, you will be ready to celebrate.

There is no right or wrong way to celebrate the holidays after your loved one’s death. The best way to cope with grief during this holiday season is to make plans ahead of time, seek support from those who care about you and most of all, take it easy on yourself.

Moving Forward after the Holidays

The holidays will be some of the hardest things to face after a devastating loss. They will never be the same as they once were and you may never enjoy them again. That is a natural feeling. However, you don’t have to be haunted by the past. You can honor the love and memory of the person you have lost. Over time, you will be able to find the significance of celebrating again as the holiday spirit takes on a new form.

Watch YouTube Video: Grief During the Holidays. In the video below, registered clinical psychologist Dr. Merry C. Lin discusses how to counsel those who are grieving during the holidays.

Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a wrongful death lawyer in Sacramento. For those who have experienced the death of a loved one, the holidays only increase the loss. The loneliness gets lonelier, the sadness feels sadder, and the need for support is greater. If you have lost a loved one in wrongful death due to another person’s negligence, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, compassionate and friendly legal advice. I can also be reached online through our contact us form.

I am proud to be a long-standing California member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. We are a collective group of the nation’s best trial lawyers who have won verdicts and settlements worth a million dollars or more for our clients.

For more information on my practice and how we’ve resolved our past cases, you can read through our verdicts and settlements.

Our clients have a lot to say about us. You can see their reviews and comments on AvvoYelp, and Google.

Getting Through the Holidays without Your Loved One:

Photo by Valeria Boltneva from Pexels / Getting Through the Holidays without Your Loved One.

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