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  • shanen Kazynski

Coping With Grief During the Holidays

  • “Who’s going to carve the turkey this year now that Grandpa has died?”

  • “I don’t have the energy or desire to shop, to decorate, or to be around others this year at Christmas.”

  • “I just want to erase Chanukah this year. I’ll just feel too empty without my husband to celebrate.”

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Ramadan, Kwanza and New Year’s Day are annual holidays that can be a very difficult time for people who have experienced the death of someone loved. Memories of good times and togetherness at the holiday season serve to remind us of our loss. Watching others who are feeling thankful and are celebrating when we feel overwhelmed, lonely or sad can be very painful. Holidays force us to realize how much our lives have been changed by the loss of our loved one. Particularly in the first year, many bereaved are left with having to develop new holiday rituals and traditions.

The first step in coping with grief at the holidays is to acknowledge that the first holiday season is difficult and then to prepare for it in advance by making specific plans and obtaining the support that you need. Remember too, that sometimes anticipation of a holiday can be more difficult than the day itself.

Works Cited: “Coping with Grief During the Holidays | VITAS Hospice.” VITAS, www.vitas.com/resources/grief-and-bereavement/coping-with-grief-during-the-holidays.



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