1282The Holidays can be an especially difficult time for those who have lost a loved one. How we handle our grieving is unique to us because everyone is different. Holidays following the loss of a loved one can be one of the hardest terrains we travel through in our journey of life. As a student, getting my MSW with a certificate in end of life care it was important to me to develop this resource tool so that each of you can utilize it through the holidays.

What is Grief?

Grief is often defined as an emotional reaction to a significant loss. Grief is also commonly referred to as having 5 stages including:

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Grieving is a process that takes time as one adjusts to their “new normal”. The grieving process is often referred to as bereavement. If an individual does not grieve properly, then it can create obstacles for the future. Grieving is a personal experience. No one can grieve for you. It is extremely important to find what works for you during this delicate time in your life. There is no timeframe of when one is expected to be over grieving. Everyone is different. Holidays can create an especially difficult time for individuals who have recently experienced a loss in their life. This resource packet will provide tips on coping with grief during the Holidays

Let’s Talk Traditions

Traditions are typically born within the family. Traditionally, holidays are a time for family and friends to gather to celebrate. Often, we go about our holidays in such a routine that when we experience a loss it’s hard to continue in that routine without the ones we love. For families or individuals experiencing that loss, the holidays often represent the most difficult time of the year. Deciding where to spend the holidays or if your even going to celebrate the holidays this year can be extremely challenging and emotional during this time. Inevitably, we cannot avoid the holidays all together as we are reminded wherever we go in public (i.e. grocery stores, restaurants, etc). This resource packet will hopefully provide you with some insightful ideas on how to manage the holidays.

“Grief never ends…but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is neither a sign of weakness nor a lack of faith…It is the price of love.”

~Author Unknown~

The holidays can be a very difficult time for people who have lost a loved one. Our hope is to provide healthy grieving tips for you through this holiday season.

Download Grief & The Holidays Guide

Thank you,

Kelsey Allen
Gilda’s Club Quad Cities Intern
MSW Student, University of Iowa
2016 Anticipated Graduation