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Holidays and Grief

The holidays are upon us, and many of us of look forward to the rituals, traditions and fellowship that are associated with this time of year. For many, however, this can be a difficult period and for some even painful. The Austin Center for Grief & Loss strives to provide connection and support for those grieving during the holidays. Those who have lost loved ones due to death, divorce or other separation are at risk of focusing on the void. Rather than seeing what is lost, it is helpful to see what is left and what happy possibilities are in the future. S

ome self-help interventions for those who are hurting, Austin Grief offers these suggestions during the holiday season:Implement healthy strategies for coping with stress because an already stressful time of year is compounded by grief. It is important to be gentle and remember what nurtures you. Examples include time in nature, getting a massage, lunch with a friend, reading, meditation, baking something for a neighbor, or working a jigsaw puzzle.Recognize that it is normal to feel a wide range of emotions, honor all of them. It is important to know that every person has their own unique grief experience. People who are experiencing grief and loss often may experience “triggers” during the holidays which can be painful. Conversely, experiencing joy and laughter does not mean you have forgotten your loved one. Consider what rituals and traditions are right for you. Some people find comfort in the old traditions. Others find them painful. Be intentional with your needs and the needs of your family members with clear communication about ones expectations.There is no right or wrong way to celebrate the holiday season after the death or loss of a loved one. The best way to cope with any holiday season is to plan ahead, get support from others, and honor yourself and where you are in this moment.

For more information on ways in which The Austin Center for Grief & Loss can offer support, please visit or call for (512) 467-7878 to make your intake appointment.

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