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Grieving During the Holidays

jstevenson | Journeys through Grief

A great fear, and struggle, that grievers have with a holiday is anticipating how different and difficult it will be without their person there. Assuredly, that person’s death will leave a hole in a family’s celebration and commemoration of the holiday. But it can be helpful to remember that holidays have built-in ways of meeting our fear and anxiety. With tools that don’t ignore the pain or remove the loss, holidays acknowledge the empty space the death has created. Gathering together, the specialness of the day, and the reality that the holiday is marking something more significant and more important than an average mundane day, all help create opportunities to meet our grief head-on.

This year two commercials provide powerful reminders. In both, a Coca-Cola and a Kroger commercial, we see someone responding to a loss by bringing that person to the family banquet through food. We see food being prepared, a person watched over as they prepare that food, the power of memory to make someone present with us, and the gathering of a family to share, as a legacy that builds memory and moments for the future. All of these are powerful devices that serve our grief and provide healing moments during the pain of loss.



We at Journeys through Grief commend to you a rich and bountiful Thanksgiving holiday made full of the memories and presence of your person.