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lighting a candle in memory

4 Reflections to Help You Manage Grief During the Holidays

Holidays after someone has died can be especially difficult. Many families get together during the holidays, often reminding us again of the loss. There are a few things that it can be helpful to remember, especially if this is the first holiday without a loved one:

  1. It’s perfectly normal to have renewed feelings of grief during the holidays, especially if holidays are a strong tradition in your family. It doesn’t matter if it’s one month, ten months or even ten years later.
  2. You’re not alone. Everyone else is going through their holiday without that family member, and will be processing the feelings that come along with that. Like you, they may not be sure how to respond to these returning feelings of grief.
  3. Take the opportunity to remember as a group. A special toast to remember the family member at dinner or a framed photograph provides an opportunity for people to honour the person who has died and grieve together.
  4. It’s okay to have fun. Even though you’re taking the time to remember someone, there’s no obligation to treat the holiday sombrely. Holidays after someone’s death can be a positive part of the grieving process, enjoying the holiday while still remember the person who has gone.

It’s normal to be nervous about spending holidays together after someone has died. Fortunately, it can be an opportunity to remember your lost family member together in a positive way, and to come together more closely as a family.

Guest blogger Daniel Bader is currently an MA Intern at Carizon Family and Community Services.