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William Franklin "Bill" Vance
B: 1934-12-14
D: 2018-12-11
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Vance, William Franklin "Bill"
James Johnson
B: 1945-03-04
D: 2018-12-08
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Johnson, James
Thomas "Tommy" Snow
B: 1969-05-12
D: 2018-12-06
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Snow, Thomas "Tommy"
Arnold Schulz
B: 1941-08-23
D: 2018-11-24
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Schulz, Arnold
Eva Parrett
B: 1926-02-16
D: 2018-11-16
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Parrett, Eva
Eunice Turner
B: 1937-10-27
D: 2018-11-10
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Turner, Eunice
Kenneth Kingston
B: 1951-09-13
D: 2018-11-02
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Kingston, Kenneth
Irene Bradfute
B: 1952-07-29
D: 2018-10-23
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Bradfute, Irene
Bernard W. "Ben" Monnig
B: 1941-04-27
D: 2018-10-22
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Monnig, Bernard W. "Ben"
Catherine Hieber
B: 1925-03-06
D: 2018-10-20
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Hieber, Catherine
John Stubbs
B: 1956-01-25
D: 2018-10-12
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Stubbs, John
Geneva Edgington
B: 1913-01-30
D: 2018-10-12
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Edgington, Geneva
Lawrence "Larry" Weston
B: 1923-05-30
D: 2018-10-09
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Weston, Lawrence "Larry"
Paul Seaton
B: 1920-10-07
D: 2018-09-26
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Seaton, Paul
Alexander Morris
B: 1975-08-06
D: 2018-09-25
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Morris, Alexander
Jack Walker
B: 1923-11-24
D: 2018-09-18
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Walker, Jack
Virginia DuVall
B: 1920-11-21
D: 2018-09-04
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DuVall, Virginia
Ke'Andrae Jamall Thomas
B: 1998-01-26
D: 2018-08-07
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Thomas, Ke'Andrae Jamall
Terrence "Terry" Gillespie
B: 1927-03-27
D: 2018-08-05
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Gillespie, Terrence "Terry"
Danny Johnson
B: 1962-03-12
D: 2018-08-03
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Johnson, Danny
Pauline Albertini Craig
B: 1927-03-31
D: 2018-07-29
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Craig, Pauline Albertini

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10 Ways to Cope with Grief During the Holidays

Our Blog

Coping with Grief During the Holidays

Friday, December 15, 2017

Christmas and the holiday season is a special time of the year in every community. It brings loved ones together to celebrate their faith, exchange gifts, and look forward to what’s to come in the new year. For most, it’s filled with love, joy, and hope. However, if you are mourning the loss of a loved one, the holiday season can be anything but loving, joyous, or hopeful. If this is your first Christmas without a loved one, you may not feel up to celebrating without them.

Experiencing grief is difficult. And experiencing grief during the holidays can feel ten times worse. There are many ways to cope with your grief during the holiday season. This time of year doesn’t have to be something you wish you could fast forward through. You may not necessarily feel like celebrating, but it will be helpful to keep your mind and body busy.

Below are ten tips to help get you through the holiday season:

1. Create a Plan

The best way to make it through Christmas and the holiday season is to develop a plan. You are most likely going to have friends and family dropping by and asking you to visit during the holidays. For many people who are mourning, anxiety can be the most difficult part of the holidays. A detailed plan helps alleviate some of the anxiety you may feel about what you need to do or who you have to see. It provides some structure which should help manage your emotions. Individually you need to determine how busy you wish to make your schedule and what you can take on. It is really important to be self aware on how much you can handle.

share a coffee grieving during the holidays2. Accept an Invitation

During the holidays, friends and family will be sending out invitations to spend time together. It’s completely understandable that you might not feel like going out to a social event while you’re grieving. Often people feel like they are disrespecting a loved one if they attend a party or event. However, attending a holiday party provides you with social interaction and around people that care about you. Isolating yourself completely from your support system will not help with your grief. Even though it may be difficult, try to accept one or two invitations to spend time with others. If someone is inviting you to spend time with them, it’s because they want you to be a part of their holiday and they care about you. If you don’t feel up to attending a party, consider spending time with others by going to church, seeing a movie, having dinner, sharing a coffee, or taking a walk.

3. Consult Your Kids

If you have children who are also grieving during the holidays, make sure to check in with them. Just like you, your children might not be thrilled about celebrating the holidays. Reduce the anxiety by having a conversation with them about what they would like to do. Together you can brainstorm different ways on how you would like to spend the holiday making sure that everyone is on board.

4. Give Gifts in a Different Way

Did you and your loved one have a tradition of always exchanging special gifts with each other? Keep this tradition alive by donating to a local gift drive. Purchase a gift for your loved one and donate it in memory of him/her. You are not only helping people in need, but you are also continuing a tradition you and your loved one shared.

5. Allow Others to Help

If this is your first holiday without your loved one, friends and family are likely to offer you help. Many people will say things such as, “if there’s anything that you need, just let me know”. Do not hesitate to take someone up on their offer. Although you may want to be strong and independent, you need to recognize people need help when they are grieving especially during the holidays. It doesn’t have to be a big favor. You can ask someone to help you decorate the tree or you can ask them to drive you to the cemetery to visit your loved one. Just having someone there as support can be very beneficial. More often than not, your loved ones would be more than happy to help you in any way that they can.

6. Unleash Your Creative Side

For some people, diving into a creative project is the best escape. This year, unleash your creative energy and take up a craft or skill like pottery or something else that you’ve always wanted to try. Developing a new skill or hobby is not only a great way to escape for a bit but it also helps express your feelings and emotions. Expressing or releasing your feelings outside of conversation can be rather therapeutic.

pottery grief during the holidays

7. Get a Head Start on Your New Year’s Resolution

Why wait until January 1st to start your New Year’s Resolution. Whether you want to get in shape or try something new, use this time to get a head start. The holidays are usually a time for excess food and alcohol. This year, spend your free time taking care of yourself and trying to focus your energy on bettering yourself by sticking to your New Year’s resolution. Focusing on new goals will also help shift your attention away from your grief.

8. Volunteer and Help Others

Rather than having others try to help you through the holidays, volunteer your time to help others. Volunteering is not only rewarding, it also gets you out and spending time with others. By taking time to volunteer during the holidays, it gets you out of the house and interacting with others. More importantly though, it gives you something positive to look forward to.

9. Take a Trip to Get Away

Sometimes, a trip over the holidays is the perfect escape. A holiday vacation gives you the opportunity to relax and get some time away from your everyday life. If you don’t feel up to celebrating the holidays without your loved one, use it as an opportunity to explore and see new places.

sunglasses vacation grief during holidays

10. Start a New Tradition

While it’s important to keep traditions alive, there is also an opportunity to start new ones. You might love keeping old traditions alive because it brings back great memories you shared with your loved ones. However, old traditions may also leave you overcome with sadness and missing your loved one. In this scenario, starting new traditions might be a great idea. Consider the advice we’ve offered throughout this post. Each of these is an opportunity to start a new tradition and have something to look forward to every year. Whether its charity related, an event, a special trip, or something else; consult your loved ones and create something new.

Also refer to the grief section of our website for more resources and information on dealing with grief. 

 

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