1. Start a new tradition.
This year will mark the 11th Christmas without my mom. I made a promise to myself that each year I will buy a new ornament in memory of her. It’s my way of doing something for her during the holiday season.
2. Try not to avoid the holiday.
Although it is so hard and different without our lost loved ones here, we must remember that they would still want us to continue on a happy life—not only around Christmas time but all the time.
Now, the way you celebrate your holidays is up to you. It doesn’t always have to be some big extravagant thing. Do what you feel will help your heart the most.
3. Have a good cry and let it all out.
If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like screaming, scream. Let it out. Don’t hold the pain and sadness in; reach out for support. Know that it’s okay to talk about your feelings and let people know you need support.
4. Make a difference.
Volunteering or helping people who are struggling will often result in you feeling better about yourself. Spend some time at a local soup kitchen, donate a toy to a toy drive, or even send an old friend a Christmas card or a small gift. I’ve done this several times and I promise you it has always made me feel better, even if just in the moment.
5. Take a break and don't forget to take care of YOU
The holidays can be so overwhelming and grief just amplifies that. Don't forget to take care of YOU and fulfill your needs.
6. Start a Holiday Journal
I love writing down my thoughts. It has helped me so much on my grief journey. Consider starting a journal and each Christmas write down what you did, how you made it through, and one memory of your loved one. Each year you can look back and see how far you have come.
7. Remember you’re not alone in your grief.
Although you may feel no one is hurting as bad as you are, there are so many other people who share the same pain. It is normal to feel your grief even more during the holidays. After all it is a painful reminder of what we have lost.
8. Remember that life goes on, even when we don’t want it to
We must remember that even though we would sometimes like life to stop, it will never stop for anybody or anything. Continue on your life and honor of your loved one not only this holiday season, but every day of your life.