Season’s Grievings: Coping with Grief through the Holidays

The stockings have been hung with care, the tree lights are twinkling and the air is filled with the delicious aroma of a holiday feast. Yet, you still can’t seem to get into the season’s spirit.

For most people, the holidays are joyous time of year. It’s the season for festive family get-togethers, caroling with friends and the spreading of holiday cheer. But if you’ve recently lost a loved one—or even if they passed away years ago—the holiday season can be an especially difficult time. 

Here at Tim Stewart Funeral Home, we know firsthand that this is often the hardest time of year for those grappling with grief. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan or Kwanza, the holidays are steeped in tradition—and it’s usually a time when we reflect on the past. Of course, thinking about years past can be terribly painful if you’re missing a loved one.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to honor your loved and survive the holidays. Even the simplest acts can offer you a sense of comfort and peace during this difficult time. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Share your grief. 

Visit a holiday memorial service or grief session at your local church or funeral home. Not only will this allow you to honor your loved one, but you’ll also have an opportunity to commiserate with others who are going through similar struggles. It can be extremely therapeutic to talk with other survivors who are also coping with feelings of grief through the holidays. 

  • Help others in need. 

When you donate your time or money to others in need, this can help distract you from your own grief. Adopt an underprivileged family for the holidays so you can hand-pick and wrap gifts for them. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, animal shelter or another charitable organization. Donate the money you would have spent on gifts for your loved one to his or her favorite charity. Offer to drive your elderly neighbor to the mall and help her pick out gifts for her loved ones. These simple acts of kindness can give you a glimmer of hope and maybe even a sense of joy during the holidays.

  • Pay tribute to your loved one.

Instead of trying to push away the memory of your loved one during the holidays, take this time to remember and pay tribute to them. Listen to some of your loved one’s favorite music—whether it may be holiday tunes, blues or rock n’ roll. Look at old photos or watch videos of your loved one. Plan a special holiday-themed remembrance or celebration of life event and invite your closest friends and family members. Hang a special ornament on your tree or a stocking in honor of your loved one. Prepare your loved one’s favorite meal or sweet holiday treat. All of these acts will give you the sense that your loved one is near for the holidays.

  • Keep their memory burning brightly. 

During the holidays, many survivors choose to light a candle in honor of their loved one. Whether you light a candle at church, a memorial service or simply in your home, this is a meaningful way to honor your loved one’s memory during the holidays. 

If you are struggling this holiday season and aren’t sure where to turn, don’t hesitate to contact us at Tim Stewart Funeral Homes & Crematory. Call (770) 962-3100 or visit www.stewartfh.com. We will help you in any way possible and can point you in the direction of local grief support groups and holiday memorial services in the area.  

May your holidays be filled with comfort and peace!

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