Grief and the Holidays

Resources for Grief and the Holidays

Coping with the Holidays Checklist

Holiday Traditions become a challenge after a loved one has died. It is helpful for family members to discuss which traditions they wish to continue for this year and which traditions should be set aside for this year. Please remember that whatever the family does this year does not have to be what the family does for years to come. Often, family members will preserve some traditions while allowing new traditions to begin. The checklist included on this page is a helpful tool for family members to review and discuss (click the image to download).

Sad boy looking at candle.
Coping with Holidays Checklist

Healing through the Holiday Season

The Center for Loss and Transition discusses a griever’s emotions and thoughts during the holidays. Click on the link below for more information on healing through the holiday season.

May this poem below bring comfort to those whose hearts are hurting this holiday season.

‘Twas the Night to Celebrate Life

‘Twas the night to celebrate life, and inside the house 
We remember a beloved friend, grandparent, parent, or spouse. 
These dear people blessed our lives year after year. 
Tonight, we recall shared moments with a tear.
Their love is a treasured gift to those they once held near. 
One carried in our hearts now that they are no longer here. 
As we gather around the tree, 
We wonder how this season without them will be

This season, we honor their lives through the stories we share. 
May we feel their love in the decorations we prepare. 
Our senses will delight by the cookies and treats we bake. 
May our hearts be warmed by the new memories we make. 
As we move from here, may our hearts sing 
With the joy that only love can bring. 
Until the day we again shall meet, 
May our lives bring hope to those we greet.

older woman with white jacket and red umbrella back with snowy background

Getting through the Holiday

As Grief Care Coordinators, we talk with family members who question how they will “get through” the holiday season. We ask the family member, “What do you need for it to feel like a holiday?”

For one daughter thinking about decorating the Christmas tree brought a flood of tears. As she shared her concerns, she suddenly smiled when she thought about her mother’s favorite ornament. For that year, Christmas became her mother’s ornament on a single ornament stand. No other decorations were needed. A favorite ornament connected the daughter to the mother and memories of past Christmases.

Man wearing blue sweater using smart phone listening to music at home with Christmas tree in background
Original Christmas ornament of a golden Christian nativity scene

One son described Christmas morning as the time his father listened to the same Christmas album year after year. As music formats changed, the holiday album continued to be played whether on a CD, mp3 player or streaming device. When asked, “What do you need for it to feel like a holiday?” the son immediately knew the tradition of the Christmas music needed to continue. The holiday music of his childhood forever connected father and son.

Tree of Remembrance

You may also like to join us as we honor family and friends during the annual FAIRHOPE Tree Lighting Ceremony, click here for more information.