Coping Through the Holidays

Grief at Holidays
© 2013 by guest blogger Frieda L. Ferrick, LMFT

The holidays can bring up loss right in your face especially if you newly are experiencing the death of a spouse or partner. There it is, carols, lights, presents, drinks and extravagant foods, and there you are sad, lonely, upset and not really wanting or ready to be in the holiday spirit.

So what can you do?

Are you allowed to take care of yourself during this time of year without feeling that you are bringing everyone else down?

You can pretend for a short period of time that you are ok but usually newly grieving folks cannot keep up the pretense for long. And the questions is, why should you?

Death is part of life and it is a hard part of it, losing someone you love that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with and it was not your choice that they died when they did!

So what can you do?

• Get plenty of rest

• Visit with family or friends a few at a time or understand and will be supportive of you

• Start new traditions that feel ok for you, if you want a tree have one if you don’t want one, don’t have one.

• Talk to someone who understands grieving, there are grief counselors and there are grief groups especially around the holidays.

• Allow yourself to feel your sadness and know you won’t always feel quite this alone.

You will experience people who will say things to you that feel hurtful, insensitive and stupid, yes I wrote that word stupid. They want you to feel better quickly so that you will be your old cheerful happy self again.

Well you are different now, you have experienced profound loss and it will take you awhile to feel in balance with life again.

Take your time, be respectful of this loss.

Take care of your wounded heart.


Frieda Ferrick is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Santa Rose, CA., who specializes in grief, loss and trauma recovery. Her own blog can be found at, and you can join her Facebook page here.

#holidays #individualtherapy #relationships #midlife

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