Grief/Loss Around the Holidays

| Amy Nussman, LCSWA

The holiday season is often marketed as a time filled with joy and spent with friends and family. For individuals who have experienced loss, however, the holidays can be a really difficult time and may bring a mixture of emotions that can result in feeling disconnected and discouraged. 

During this time of year, a lot of individuals notice feelings associated with grief start to come up for them again and question why this is happening. It is important to note that grief and loss are cyclical. The pain of the loss may never fully go away, but there are times when the loss hurts more than others, and periods that feel easier to get through. The holidays are a time that can often bring some of those feelings of loss to the forefront.

Notice What is Coming up for you:

As the holidays may bring up a mixture of emotions, take a moment to check in with yourself from time to time and notice what feelings are coming up for you. Remember that grief can stem from any form of loss, not just death. You may be grieving the loss of a relationship, loss of a job, or loss of an opportunity that you were excited about, and all of those losses can bring up feelings of grief. 

Honor the Feelings that Arise:

Allow yourself to hold space for both joy and pain during this time and recognize that both can exist simultaneously. Individuals who are grieving a loved one may find it comforting to find a way to honor their loved one during the holidays in a way that is meaningful to them. It may feel helpful to talk to a trusted individual about the feelings coming up, or take time to step away and go for a walk, journal, or meditate. Give yourself permission to experience the mixture of emotions that the holidays can bring, and remind yourself that there is no wrong or right way to cope.

Today's the day to make a change.