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5 Tips for Coping with Grief During the Holiday Season

Coping with the loss of a loved one or understanding and accepting a relative’s illness is extremely difficult. The holiday season, usually a time meant for celebration, can trigger feelings of absence and sorrow. For many families, traditions are no longer the same thus forcing the realization of how our lives are now different. These 5 tips can provide grief support to family members during the holidays.

1. Accept reality. Acknowledge that this holiday will be different. By managing your expectations that gatherings will no longer be the same, you can head off or minimize disappointment. Focus on the good in your life, such as your health and the family you are with this holiday season.

2. Reach out for support. Bereavement counselors offer comfort to those in the grieving process, before and/or after a loss. Whether to discuss the changes you and your family are going through or to simply listen, outside support is available. You can also call our bereavement hotline at 1-216-931-1327.

3. Simplify and socialize. While you may not be up for attending every holiday party this year, it is equally important to keep yourself from isolation. Communicate with your family and friends if you “need a break” – they will understand. However, socializing can help you through the grieving process.

4. Take care of yourself. Eat well, stay active and take time for yourself. Grieving often takes a toll on our bodies, it is important to keep ourselves healthy and strong in order to be there for family members and friends.

5. Reconsider traditions. If a tradition will be too difficult to continue, it may be time to consider creating new holiday customs. Consider creating a tradition that honors those you have lost, or celebrating what brings you together.

Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio offers an array of services to allow families to regain optimal health and dignity. Bereavement counselors are available for counseling throughout a loved one’s illness and after a loss.

Call VNA of Ohio Today

Learn more about VNA of Ohio bereavement services, or call our bereavement hotline at 1-216-931-1327.


Family members and friends are invited to donate in the memory of a loved one as a way to give back and honor their memory during the holiday season.