The holidays always play a big part in our lives. Some happy, some not so happy. Stress, loss and grief can unfortunately play a larger part than joy and peace. If grieving a loss, it is natural to experience the holidays differently than before. Individuals vary in how they will respond to the loss. Some may seek to keep tradition while others may need time to return to past traditions. There really is no true answer.
Instead, one must navigate the holidays as best one’s ability. Grief will be present if the first holiday without a loved one but over time, it does improve. The loss never vanishes, but other ways to celebrate or even remember become possible. Others may learn how to better handle stress through a few tips.
The article, “Navigating the Holidays with Grief” by Laura Wade looks at how one can better cope with grief during the holidays. She states,
“It takes five to eight years to move through the emotions of a significant loss,” Boyd shares. “Holidays compound the feelings of loss since it is a time of connection and family. It is also a reminder the loved one is not there. Holidays are already an emotional time, especially if being together and focused on family was important to your loved one.”
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Holidays should be taken gently and easily during the first years of loss. Only time can ease the sharp pain of loss. It is also important to remember friends and family during these times who may be grieving a loss. Sometimes a simply hello can mean the world to an individual who is still grieving a significant loss during the holidays.
If you would like to learn more about grief counseling or would like to become a certified grief counselor, then please review our Grief Counseling Training Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.