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Living Through Grief During the Holidays

When a loved one dies, it’s very painful, but there are ways to get through it.

For many, the holiday season is the last lap of a hard race run all year. Family get-togethers and travel, while demanding, eventually place us in the company of loved ones. However, this year, it will not happen for hundreds of thousands of Americans. When family and friends die, grief can become almost unbearable. Still, there are ways to work through grief and rediscover joy for life.

Allow yourself to feel

One day you may feel angry or sad or want to cry. The next day you may feel excited and hopeful and want to dance. Emotions are complex and human. You have them, so don’t shy away from expressing them in healthy ways, even when you don’t understand them.

Resist isolation

Being alone for prolonged periods can lead to anxiety, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, and a sense of hopelessness, which worsens grief. Spending time with loving, nurturing people will keep you connected and reminded that you matter to others.

Talk about your loved one

Encourage family and friends to do the same. It helps. Hearing your loved one’s name, remembering their personality, and telling stories about ways they made you laugh will bring comfort and give permission to others to share as well.

Healthy grieving is a process. Support and resources are available at

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