Coping With Grief During the Holidays

Silk flowers on a gravestone, soft focus

The holiday season is here, and for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, this can be an especially difficult time of year. Everywhere, messages about spending time with the ones we love are abundant, and bring into focus the loved ones who will not be celebrating with us, which can lead to intense feelings of sorrow.

Here are some coping strategies from the team at our hospice neighborhood in South Jersey to help make this season more manageable:

  • Remember that grief and healing go hand-in-hand. Grief is an integral part of the healing process, and choosing to experience the pain rather than shutting it away is a healthier path to healing. Over time, this will help make the holiday season easier.
  • Acknowledge your loss. Remembering the one you’ve lost and expressing your feelings can help make them a part of the festive season and lead to traditions in which they are kept close to your and other people’s hearts. Set aside some time or a task and make it all about that someone special and choose something that reminds you of them. For example, lighting a candle in church or at your family dinner table, opening a bottle of their favorite drink, serving a favorite dish, or playing their favorite music.
  • Set healthy boundaries. Don’t push yourself to have a perfect holiday season, attend every event, and embrace every occasion with a smile on your face. Instead, give yourself a break if you find an event too painful, or need some time by yourself. Pick and choose what events you feel comfortable with, and keep your options open. You might prefer a quiet evening in with family looking at photo albums and watching movies, rather than a big social event with lots of people. Don’t feel obligated that you have to attend an event if it’s too difficult or painful for you.
  • Speak openly with family and friends. Everyone experiences grief differently, and communicating your concerns and feelings to your loved ones is especially important during the holidays. Your support network can help ease the burden of the holiday season, from helping you to create new traditions in remembrance of your loved one, to understanding why you need time and space from certain events.

Professional care and support from Bridges, our hospice and palliative care neighborhood in Cape May County, NJ 

At The Shores, a part of the well-known United Methodist Communities non-profit assisted living organization in New Jersey, we offer compassionate, professional care in the Jersey Shore area in a neighborhood called Bridges, dedicated to hospice and palliative care. In this program, we focus on creating a nurturing and comforting environment for patients and their loved ones through customized care programs and compassionate support. To find out more about our hospice neighborhood in South Jersey, please visit our website at or contact us today and arrange your visit.

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    205 Jumping Brook Road
    Neptune, NJ 07753
    Phone: 732-922-9800