cbs4 My 33 Header Logo

Holiday Grief: ’Tis The Season

Coping with sadness when everyone else is jolly
View Comments
(image courtesy of VITAS)

(image courtesy of VITAS)

  • “Now that Grandpa’s gone, who’s going to carve the turkey?”
  • “I don’t have the energy or desire to shop, decorate or be with people this year.”
  • “I just want to erase Hanukkah. Without my husband, I feel too empty to celebrate.”

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, New Year’s—all are difficult for people who have experienced the death of someone they love. Memories of good times and togetherness at the holiday season remind us of our loss. It can be painful to watch others who are celebrating when we feel overwhelmed, lonely or sad.

VITAS Bereavement Services Manager Mitch Husar (photo courtesy of Mitch Husar)

VITAS Bereavement Services Manager Mitch Husar (photo courtesy of Mitch Husar)

“Holidays force us to realize how much our lives have been changed by a recent death,” explains Mitch Husar, bereavement services manager for VITAS Innovative Hospice Care of Broward County. “This is particularly true in the first year, when people who are grieving must develop new holiday rituals and traditions.”

The first step in coping with grief at the holidays is to acknowledge that the season will be difficult, adds Dianne Hudder, bereavement services manager of VITAS’s Dade and Monroe counties program. “Then prepare for it by making specific plans and obtaining the support you need. Remember, too, that anticipation of a holiday sometimes can be more difficult than the day itself.”

VITAS Bereavement Services Manager Dianne Hudder (photo courtesy of Dianne Hudder)

VITAS Bereavement Services Manager Dianne Hudder (photo courtesy of Dianne Hudder)

There is no right or wrong way to celebrate a holiday after the death of a loved one. The best way to cope with a difficult holiday season is to be nice to yourself:

  1. Plan ahead
  2. Get support from others
  3. Take it easy

(Provided by VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, which offers hospice care to patients and families throughout Florida, including Broward, Dade and Monroe counties. Go to VITAS.com/Florida.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus