The holiday season is a festive time filled with music, decorations and family traditions. For those who have experienced a loss, the season can be a painful reminder that the loved one is no longer here. Each person deals with loss in their own way. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Here are a few ideas that might make it easier when coping with grief through the holidays.

Be Prepared to Feel the Loss During the Holidays

Plan ahead and give yourself permission to miss your loved one.  If you expect yourself to face the season without feeling sad, it will be more difficult when the feelings come.

Surround Yourself with Support from Friends and Family

There are times when being alone is needed to be with your own thoughts and feelings, but don’t cut yourself off from those that care about you. Share your feelings with those you trust. Give them a chance to offer their support.

Pace Yourself

Decide what holiday activities or traditions you can handle. You might want to limit your holiday celebrations to include small groups of close friends and family.  Don’t feel that you have to do everything you have always done. It is okay to scale back on sending out cards or decorations. Avoid creating unnecessary stress by doing more than you can handle at this time.

Honor Their Memory

Do something to honor your loved one that has passed. Make a donation to a charity in their name. Volunteer to help others by serving a meal at a charity during the holidays.  Buy a present for a holiday gift drive and donate it in their name.

If you are struggling with loss, call 602-749-4405 and make an appointment to speak with one of our qualified counselors. Our low rates are based on your ability to pay. Offices are located throughout the valley and appointments are available on evenings to accommodate busy schedules. Spanish speaking counselors are also available. 


Rebecca Sauer is a licensed professional counselor and the program manager for the counseling program at Catholic Charities.