Pearsons Funeral Home
Pearsons Funeral Home
149 Breckenridge Ln
LouisvilleKY 40207
 (502) 896-0349

Strategies to Cope with Grief During the Holidays

Strategies to Cope with Grief During the Holidays

Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula to make your sadness go away during the holidays after you’ve lost a loved one. But thinking ahead to what changes you might want to make this year, as well as planning for extra support, can provide some relief from your holiday grief.

Make Room for Grief

Taking time to honor your loved one during the season, no matter how emotional it might make you, is often the best way to move through the pain. Your place of worship may conduct special services or prayers to honor those who have passed on. Consider reaching out to the pastor to arrange something for your family or to dedicate a service in memory of your loved one. Alternatively, lighting a candle at home or setting up a small table in your home with photos and mementos can provide you with a comforting daily ritual in the midst of the hectic holiday season.

Plan the Holiday That’s Right for You

If you prefer to keep up with traditions, resist any well-meaning attempts to take work “off your hands.” For many, putting together an annual holiday dinner, or providing a place for family to stay brings solace when so much else has changed. On the other hand, some find it harder to carry on with traditions in which loved ones who have passed were so intrinsically involved. Consider a hike followed by a hearty buffet in lieu of your traditional sit-down meal, substitute with a movie followed by Chinese food. The important thing is to do what makes you feel comfortable and not worry about anything else. 

If you prefer to keep up with traditions, resist any well-meaning attempts to take work “off your hands.” For many, putting together an annual holiday dinner, or providing a place for family to stay brings solace when so much else has changed.

Create Backup Plans

No matter how smart your strategic coping methods seem to be, they just might not feel right when the holiday period arrives. “Just in case” backup plans can help when this happens. As winter draws closer, your family’s original concept of a traditional gathering may not feel right. If time and budget permits, going to a different climate on a family trip can be a great way to spend time together without feeling too overwhelmed by memories.

You may find that the prospect of having company starts to feel overwhelming as the festivities near. If even a non-traditional gathering feels like too much to get through, don’t be shy about stating your preference to spend the time quietly by yourself. Sometimes a pajama day with a pizza and old movies is the perfect prescription for holiday blues.   

Seek Out Resources

Remember that no one can handle the burden of grief alone. Friends and family can help, as can your place of worship. Funeral service providers may have lists of local support systems you can take advantage of. In the case of a loss from a long illness, hospitals will often have someone on staff who can provide information about local support groups. Your job or school may even have counseling or access to grief-related services. And don’t forget to rely on online resources like griefshare.org, which can point you in the right direction for both reading literature and local support services.

Coping with grief? Let us help! Contact us!

Support is always available. All you have to do is ask for it. If you are finding it hard to get through the holiday season, please reach out to us at Pearson Funeral Home. Our staff is always available and willing to help.