Tuesday, December 24, 2013

4 Ways to Cope with Loss during the Holidays

“Grief, though a period of sadness and emptiness,
is meant to be a spiritual celebration.”

~ Dr. Bill

The days between Thanksgiving to New Year‘s day can be very trying. Known as a time to be with family and love ones, often this period can be triggering for many of us and cause us to remember love ones we have lost. The holiday season may significantly worsen our emotional condition.  During this season of happy holidays, people who are grieving often think that celebrating after such a loss does not seem right and may seem disrespectful to the one who left us. But if you really think about it, in this season of gratitude, not celebrating would be a dishonor to a loved one’s memory.

We need a holiday mind shift. Maybe it should be a time to celebrate what we had with him and her. Remember the good times, fun and laughter we had, rather than focusing on what we don’t have now. Consider that you would be showing the ones who have left how much their time here was memorable and worthwhile. Bestow honor by opening up spiritually to the memories of them. Don’t reject or hide from remembrances because you are afraid that such memories could bring on pain.

Instead, celebrate the memory of your loved ones by displaying their love through the gathering of your family, passing on his or her legacy of love through stories and holiday traditions. Demonstrate remembrance by decorating the inside and outside of the house so the brightness of the Christmas lights shine into the heavens and say, “See! You are remembered! You are loved.”

There is no "right" way or wrong way to cope with loss during the holiday season, but there are some things you can do to make the process more manageable. Here are 4 ways to cope.

1.      Be Open to Communicate:
Don’t hide from communicating about the person. He or she is still alive in the heart. Give yourself permission to communicate feelings and celebrate his or her life. That will give others the feeling of permission that they can share, as well.

2.      Create a new tradition:  
Start a new tradition of remembrances by writing down some of his or her quotes, wisdom, good qualities, stories, significant life experiences and place them in a box or stocking. This is wonderful way to celebrate the person.  It is also a way to "generate conversation in a comfortable way." 

3.      Pass on their Spirit:
Consider making a donation to honor your loved one, or buying a gift and giving it to someone else in his or her name.

4.      Take Care of Yourself:

Lastly, do some self-care and nurturing to yourself. This time of year can really deplete your energy. Be sure to exercise, sleep well, limit your alcohol intake and get plenty of sleep.

Consider this … Our loved ones would never want to see us suffering because they are no longer with us. Mourning and grief are a natural part of losing someone dear, but look at the situation from their perspective … they would much rather see you smiling with memories of the happy times you shared while they were among living.

And don’t forget to keep up on all my blogs and self-improvement tips. http://positivechangewithdrbill.blogspot.com/ for Life Coaching and http://www.williamtollefsonvalues.blogspot.com/ for Trauma Issues.

Find out about making a positive change to yourself or your life at http://www.makingapositivechange.com/

Learn about the 30 Day Challenge signature program at http://www.makingapositivechange.com/ to help you change how you act, feel, think and react then this is the program for you.

Please be sure to share this blog with your friend and family. Love to know your comments and answer any questions. Write me at drbilllifecoach@gamil.com 

Please be sure to share or pass on to others you think it will benefit.


  1. Thank you for such warm, encouraging, and insightful words related to loss & grief, especially during a typically vulnerable period of the year. Grief & loss & the effects it has on a person are a natural part of life & healingLearning to embrace it & even celebrate the part a person played in one's life is an excellent way to honor them. Thanks for the important reminders!

    1. Anonymous,
      I really appreciate you finding value in this blog article. We have to notice that loss and grief is in the shadows of expected happiness and cheer. I hope this blog help you to combine the two as a spirit of celebrating and set a new tradition.

      Happy Holidays and Happy New Year,

      Dr. Bill

  2. I celebrate as best I can for my children, so they will have happy memories of the holidays. Thanks for the tips Dr. Bill, I liked number 3 best... Happy holidays to you and your family.

    1. Gretchen,
      Thank you for your comment. #3 - passing on their spirit is validating to their memory to others. I wish you and your family a Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and best wishes for happiness in 2014.

      Blessings in this day of the eve of a new year,
      Dr. Bill


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