Finding Holiday Joy Amid the Grief

Coping with grief during the holidays

person holding a lit candle
group of lanterns

Although this season brings  fun and festivities, many of our friends

find it hard to feel joyful when their hearts are heavy with grief.

Whether from a  recent loss, or  one many years ago, grieving for the loved ones who won’t be here to celebrate with us can dampen our holiday spirit and  lead to depression. 

  • I think of my friend  who has lost both a sister and a son this year.
  • I remember my friends who tragically lost their teen aged daughter in a car wreck just a few days before Christmas many years ago.
  • I consider my medical colleague who is battling cancer.
  • My heart aches for my friends who lost a young aunt to an undiagnosed medical condition which suddenly proved fatal .
  • I’m sad for my friends and their children who will spend their first Christmas after a divorce.
  • And my husband and I  still grieve the loss of our parents and siblings at Christmas even after many years.

As one friend wrote-

“This is my second Christmas without my husband.  It has been tough, but also a reminder that God is the god of all comfort. That works for me. And… it is a reminder to pray comfort to anyone who has faced a loss of a loved one including precious pets. Loss from any source needs a comforting friend.”

If you know someone who needs a “comforting friend”,  please take the time to reach out to them so they know someone cares and they are not alone.

 

Here is advice from Nancy Guthrie on

What to say to grieving people. 

“Honestly, the most painful thing is when you’ve had a loss and someone around you—because of the awkwardness — never acknowledges it. That’s what hurts the most.”

 

xmas house

 

 

On the Harvard Health Blog, Dr. Anthony Komaroff  advises on 

Coping with grief and loss during the holidays

 “Grief is not a tidy, orderly process, and there is no right way to grieve. Every person—and every family—does it differently. This can cause emotions to collide and overlap, especially during the holiday season when the emphasis is on rebirth and renewal.”

 

 

My family and I wish all of you health and wholeness in body, mind, and spirit.

                              Dr. Aletha 

man and woman in front of the Alamo at Christmas
My husband and I at the Alamo in San Antonio Texas at Christmas

More holiday tips from Watercress Words at these links-

How to anticipate and relieve holiday stress

Healthy holiday eating made easy

And please consider my affiliates and advertisers for your holiday gifts, your support helps  fund this blog and increase its value to you. Thank you!

Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

I am a family physician who explores the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, and through writing. On my blog, Watercress Words, I inform and inspire us in healthy living. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can then share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

4 thoughts on “Finding Holiday Joy Amid the Grief”

  1. Your post is so timely. I have a cousin who lost her daughter to suicide. She is struggling to be happy, while the rest of us are enjoying the lights, trees and festivities. I’m praying that she will find comfort this holiday season. Thanks for sharing on Sunday’s Best.

    Like

    1. One of my friends lost her son this year.She told me she went to a grief seminar and the most important thing she learned was, “I can still celebrate Christmas.” I pray your friend is able to celebrate the joy that is Christmas despite the pain of her daughter’s loss. Thanks for sharing.

      Like

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