People think it’s terribly sad to spend Christmas alone, but it’s no sadder, really, than spending any other day alone, is it?  ~ Paula Hawkins

Once again the holidays are looming, and grief triggers are everywhere, reminding us of all we have lost.  That is why many community agencies offer programs to assist the bereaved, especially at this time of year. Your local hospice, mortuary or healthcare organization will have information about whatever special offerings and services are available to you in your community. In addition, the Internet abounds with all sorts of articles, books and tips that offer creative and practical ways to cope with the holidays. 

Over the next several weeks I’ll be looking online for articles, webinars and other reliable resources to recommend to my readers and visitors, and each day throughout the holiday season I’ll be posting links to them here. Since I am building upon this list on a daily basis, I invite you to check back often to see what’s been added.

Traditions of the season can magnify the pain and emptiness that one goes through, especially after the loss of a loved one. It’s crucial that we acknowledge the elevated emotional state that the holidays bring for those who are struggling, be it yourself or a loved one. Discover 10 ways to cope with grief and loss during the holiday season – allow yourself to experience small moments of joy and togetherness amidst the sadness. How to Cope with Grief and Loss During The Holiday Season by Pinkvilla Desk
Many of the familiar feelings of sadness and loneliness are reignited during the fall and winter, even many years after a loved one’s death. While some of these feelings are typical of this “pensive” period of shorter days and colder nights, the intensity of family-related holidays is also a major factor in year-end bereavement. Grief Perspectives: Helping the Bereaved Face The Holidays by William Hoy

Fall is a time of change in the northern hemisphere; leaves fall, the air gets colder, the days become shorter, summer ends, and the harvest begins. Symbolically, autumn is also associated with a time of endings, transitions, and decay. This is evocatively captured by Halloween, which is associated with so many symbols of dying, death, change, and transformation. With such literal and symbolic expressions of death, it is obvious why some people are more sensitive to their grief during this time of year.  Haunted by Loss: Grieving During Halloween by Mark Shelvock

I can’t pretend that holidays aren’t difficult, that they don’t hurt, because they are, and they do. Holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas, are about being together, sharing laughter, and creating new memories. That has all changed since you died 19 months ago. I’m working on relearning how to feel like celebrating, despite the fact that the one person who meant the most to me in life, who I spent my days and nights with, is gone. Gone, not just for a while, but forever. Thankful for What Was . . . Hopeful for What Is Yet To Be by Julie Gentz

Thanksgiving is a time for family to gather with one another and give thanks for all the blessings in their lives. If you are mourning the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be an emotionally difficult time; especially if this is the first year without them. Whether your loved one was a friend, a family member, or a beloved pet, celebrating the holiday may not feel the same without them there. But part of the grieving process is learning to live life without them, and celebrating with them in different ways. 10 Great Ways to Remember A Loved One on Thanksgiving by Codi Lindsey 

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