Coping with Grief During the Holidays

Posted on December 6th, 2023 by Cremation Center of Southern Utah under Christmas, Grief, Holidays
1 Comment

The popular Christmas carol “Silver Bells” begins, “Christmas makes you feel emotional. It may bring parties or thoughts devotional.  Whatever happens or what may be, here is what Christmastime means to me.”  For those dealing with the loss of a loved one, the celebration of the holiday season can be very emotional and highly difficult.  What is the best way to cope with grief during the holidays?

Amy Goyer wrote an excellent piece for AARP website entitled, “Dealing with Grief During the Holiday Season.”  Ms.  Goyer writes that the holiday season can magnify a sense of loss and mourning, but that family gatherings and seasonal events can continue to be comforting rituals.  Here are a few of her suggestions:

– Only do what feels right. It’s up to you to decide which activities, traditions, or events you can handle. Don’t feel obligated to participate in anything that doesn’t feel comfortable.

– Accept your feelings, whatever they might be. Everyone takes his or her own path in grief and mourning.  However you feel, accept it. And accept the inevitable ups and downs.

– Call on your family and friends. Talk with loved ones about your emotions. Be honest about how you’d like to do things this year.

– Focus on the kids. Think of your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or neighborhood children and how your participation in holiday activities affects them.  Perhaps you can allow yourself to absorb their joy by joining them in activities that are important to them and excuse yourself when you reach your limit.

-Scale back. If the thought of many holiday activities feels painful, overwhelming, or inappropriate this year, cutting back may help.

-Give. During times of grief, sometimes the biggest comfort is to give to others.

– Acknowledge those who have passed on.  For example, donate items to a charitable organization in their name.  Light a candle for them, or place the deceased’s photo on the Christmas tree or among holiday decorations.

As a funeral director, I am aware of the additional stress the holiday season can place upon the lives of grieving individuals.  Above all, I encourage people to take good care of themselves and to obtain the support they need.  Oftentimes, the anticipation of a holiday can be more difficult than the day itself.  Whatever your personal situation may be this year, we at The Cremation Center of Southern Utah wish you a warm and comforting holiday season.

The Cremation Center of Southern Utah is located just off Riverside Drive at 1316 S. 400 E., St. George, UT, (435) 986-9100.

 Submitted by W. Russell Atkin, Licensed Funeral Director/Owner

Cremation Center of Southern Utah

The Cremation Center of Southern Utah was founded in December, 2009. At the time, other mortuaries in the area were shying away from and even discouraging cremation. Our desire was to create a unique, warm, and caring environment where cremation was not only encouraged, but embraced.

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