Getting through the Holidays after the Loss of a Loved One

Shelley Wenger
Photo byShelley Wenger at Canva

Holidays can be stressful, even in the best of times. However, if you have lost a loved one recently, you may be dreading this holiday season. You may not be looking forward to celebrating at all, even though you may have plenty of others to spend time with.

That being said, the holidays don’t have to be so sad. Here are some tips to help you get through the holidays without your loved one by your side.

Allow yourself time to grieve. You are allowed to be sad over the holidays. You can take a moment to walk away from a party to let your feelings out. If there is somewhere that you don’t want to go, don’t make yourself go. Stay home and do what you need to, even if that means watching a movie and crying.

You also can’t feel guilty about having a good time. Guilt can make a person overthink everything that they do. You are allowed to enjoy spending time with your family and loved ones. You can smile when your gift makes someone really happy. If someone gets you the perfect gift, you are allowed to be happy. Don’t squash your joy, just because you feel like you have to.

Surround yourself with the right people. Spend time with the people that support you and your grief. It may help to spend time with others who are missing your loved one as much as you are. These people will help you through this difficult time while listening to the stories (and even telling you some of theirs)!

Ask for what you need. Even the best and most supportive people aren’t going to know what you need from them. If you need to talk about your loved one, let them know. If you find yourself overwhelmed at a party and need to leave, just tell them that it is too much for you. If you don’t want to be alone and need some company, ask them to come over to spend some time with you.

Don’t overdo it. Many people overdo it over the holidays. They go to every party that they are invited to. They buy a fit for everyone that they can think of. This can be even worse when you are grieving. Instead of facing it alone, many fill their days so full that they are completely exhausted by the end of the holiday season.

The holidays are stressful for many people. There is always so much to do and not enough time. However, it can be even worse if you have recently lost a loved one. You need to take it easy on yourself and you will be able to get through this difficult time. First of all, you need to give yourself time to grieve. Even if you have to leave somewhere early or hide out in another room for a few minutes, you are allowed to take the time that you need. You also shouldn’t feel guilty if you are having a good time. You can find joy in the holidays, even when you are really sad.

The best way to do this is by surrounding yourself with the right people. Spend time with those that make you feel better. If you are uncomfortable around some people, don’t force yourself to stick around. You should also ask them for what you need. If you need company, don’t hesitate to ask. If you need to be left alone, just let them know that you are fine, but you just need to go home.


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Shelley is a small town farm mom of two boys. She is a veterinary technician, so she is proud to write about all kinds of animals and their care. She also loves to write about writing, running a business, working from home, and much more.

Glenville, PA

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