How to Deal With Death During the Holiday Season: Practical Strategies After a Loved One Has Died

One of the most disheartening of life’s events is the death of a family member or other loved one. The grieving process following such a death can be complicated. With that duly noted, it is important to recognize that every person grieves loss differently, including the death of a loved one. The process of mourning and grieving the death of a loved one can have the potential to become especially overwhelming during the holiday season. There are some practical strategies you can consider employing to deal with the death of a family member or other loved one during the holiday season.

Acknowledge the Holiday Season Will Be Different, Challenging

One step you will be wise to take in an effort to deal with death during the holiday season is to candidly acknowledge to yourself and others that the special time of year will be different. You need to be honest in recognizing that the holiday season will present challenges, some that you will anticipate and others that you would never have imagined.

Decide Holiday Traditions to Keep

There very well may have been a variety of holiday traditions that your deceased loved one joined you in celebrating. Another of the strategies you will want to employ during the holiday season is to determine what holiday traditions you’ve historically celebrated will be carried forth into the future. Yes, there will be traditions that will be difficult to go through because they will so closely remind you of your deceased loved one. Nevertheless, as you work through the grief process, and in future years, you are likely to find that there are special traditions that you will be highly pleased to have maintained following the death of a person who shared them with you.

Determine Holiday Traditions to Eliminate or Change

At the other end of the spectrum you are likely to identify holiday traditions that you shared or associated with your deceased loved one that you will want to change in some manner. In addition, there well may be holiday traditions that you may want to eliminate, to stop doing, all together. In point of fact, making the decision to alter or eliminate certain holiday conditions with a connection to a deceased loved one might prove to be an important step in assisting you in moving forward through the grieving process.

Create a New Holiday Tradition

On a related note, dealing with the holiday season and working through the grieving process in a healthy manner can be advanced by establishing some new traditions. As mentioned previously, an existing tradition might be eliminated by you following the death of a loved one. Rather than creating a proverbial gaping hole in holiday celebrations, you can replace a tradition you feel the need to abandon with a new one. A new holiday tradition need not be designed to forget a loved one. Rather, in creating a new holiday tradition you can not only develop something that permits you to move forward but also can pay tribute at least in some way to a loved one who is no longer with you.

Decide Where You Want to Spend the Holidays

You place yourself in a sounder position to better deal with the holidays following the death of a friend, family member, or other loved one by being proactive about where you will celebrate a particular holiday. In considering your own grieving process, you may find that you would appreciate spending the holidays at a location with meaning to you and your love ones. On the other hand, as you would through the grieving process you may realize that spending the holiday at a different location may be the best thing for you.

Add One of Your Deceased Loved One’s Favorite Dishes to a Holiday Meal Menu

A truly simple, easy step you can take to death with death during the holiday season is to incorporate one of your deceased loved one’s favorite dishes on the menu. Indeed, taking this step can be a way in which you actually create a new tradition or continue an existing one, depending on the specific circumstances.

Light a Candle in Remembrance of a Loved One Who Passed

Another simple step you can take to deal with death during the holiday season is to light a candle in memory of or honor to a deceased loved one. You might want to burn a candle in honor of a deceased loved one throughout the entirety of the winter holiday season, for example.

Communicate Your Holiday Desires and Intentions Before the Season

On a note related to all of the strategies and tactics discussed here, you need to be proactive in another important way. You need to communicate your own holiday desires to your living friends and family members. You don’t want people be surprised by what you desire to do in regard to the holiday season. You want them to be on board, as much as possible, with how you would like to go about spending the holiday season even as you strive to grieve the death of a loved one.

If you’ve lost a loved one, bear in mind that you are not at all likely to be the only one grieving. Just as you grieve the death of a loved one in your own way, so do others. Therefore, honor and respect the decisions others have made regarding the celebration of the holiday season in the same way that you hope they will honor your own.