Grieving During the Holidays

The holidays can be very difficult when you are experiencing grief.  Here are some ideas to help you navigate through the holiday season:

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, New Year’s Day:


  • Develop a Plan A and Plan B:  Plan A can be the way you would like to celebrate the holiday; Plan B is a back-up plan in case you don’t feel up to participating in your Plan A
  • Choose which holiday traditions you would like to celebrate, feel free to start some new traditions (maybe a tradition that will include a memory of your deceased loved one)
  • Allow time for feelings
  • Manage your stress load and cut back on practices or tradition that may cause increased stress
  • Allow others to help you with holiday preparations
  • Pay attention to children during holidays—their grief is often overlooked


Valentine’s Day:

If you are grieving the loss of a spouse or romantic partner, Valentine’s Day can be difficult.  Here are some ideas to help:

  • Write a love letter
  • Smile a smile for your deceased romantic partner
  • Tell someone about your loved one and why you cared so much for them

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day:

  • Find ways to honor your mother/father
  • If you lost a child, think of ways to honor your child
  • Make a list of qualities or services that your mother/father did for you that you feel gratitude for
  • Donate time or money for a cause that your mother/father felt strongly about
  • Do something that you used to love to do together on that day