The holidays are an especially tough time for families missing their loved one. For many, the empty chair at a holiday dinner serves as a painful reminder of what’s missing.
But it’s important to remember that you aren’t alone. Below are some inspiring articles of people who’ve shared their message of hope and coping with holiday grief. We hope their messages bring a little light during your holiday season.
Making a Place at the Table for Grief On Thanksgiving by Saeed Jones
The author reached out to his friends and asked them how they coped with loss during a day set aside for giving thanks. Their responses ranged from creating new Thanksgiving Day rituals to cooking the turkey “just as Nana taught us, until the smell drifts from the kitchen into the living room and on into the dining room where a table is set with those same silver dishes.”
Kicking The Thanksgiving Blues by Litsa Williams and Eleanor Haley
The two authors of the grief blog, What’s Your Grief, share their favorite internet clips that make them happy. And they hope you’ll find some joy in them too. The clips range from “The Happiest Facts to Make You Smile” to a Thanksgiving flash mob. If you’re looking for something to watch this Thanksgiving, their list is a great place to start.
The First Holiday Without Them — Coping With Loss by Courtney Hutchison
The article states that while there are no right or wrong ways to celebrate the first holiday after the loss of a loved one, there are ways to ease the pain of holiday grief. The author shares advice from grief counselors and therapists on how to turn the holidays into a time for healing. “It’s important to remember that you’re allowed to be happy, you’re allowed to be sad, you’re allowed to be whatever you need,” social worker Amy Sales wrote.
Handling The Holidays — Seven Grief Survival Tips by Dr. Gloria Horsley
Dr. Horsley is an internationally-renowned grief expert and bereaved parent. In her article on holiday grief, she shares her seven tips to help families heal during the holidays. She suggests finding ways to incorporate the memory of your loved one into new rituals. A few of her ideas include:
- Decorating a wreath with items that remind you of your loved one.
- Displaying pictures of your favorite memories of your loved one.
- Lighting a candle or giving a toast in honor of your loved one.
Helping Children Cope With Grief During the Holidays by Frazer Consultants
In this article, we share six tips for helping children manage their first holidays without a loved one. It’s also packed with holiday grief activities for children, including remembrance ornaments and memory lanterns.
For the Bereaved, 10 Tips for Getting Through the Holiday Season by Jeanne Dennis
Jeanne Davis, the senior vice president of a New York City hospice center, shares her 10 tips on holiday healing. Her most important takeaway is to remind us that love does not end in death. She writes, “During the holidays and throughout the year, we keep our loved ones alive by the way we live our life, buoyed by their memories, fortified by their values and shepherded by their love.”
16 Ideas for Creating a New Holiday Tradition After a Death by Litsa Williams and Eleanor Haley
The two grief bloggers share 16 creative ideas to creating new rituals to help honor your loved ones. Remake their favorite holiday dish or dessert. Create a holiday playlist. Donate to a charity in their name. The list is full of ideas to inspire ways we can honor our loved ones.
How does your family honor a loved one during the holidays? Share with us in the comments below!