Ideas for Getting Through the HOLIDAYS

NOTE: I have focused on adults, but some of the suggestions and ideas can be taken into consideration when children and grief are a concern.  Please remember, children grieve too and may not tell you they are upset, but their behaviour, body language, and perhaps sudden illnesses may all be indicators.

 Practical Ideas to Help You …

Prepare ahead of time with something to say if people approach you and ask, “How are you doing?”  A few ideas to get you started are;

  • FINE … (Fit in Nice Enough)
  • As well as can be expected
  • Today is a good day, but some days are not so good
  • This is a difficult process and I had no idea this is what people go through

Take a quiet moment away from everyone before you gather with family and friends to have a cry or a special moment of remembering on your own.

Start a new tradition:

  • Light a memory candle for those who are no longer with you
  • Buy a special flower that will always be a reminder of your loved one
  • Ask each person to share a special memory of your loved one with you
  • Have an extra place setting at the table in memory of your loved one.  “I will tell you that this makes some people very uncomfortable; therefore, you may want to explain yourself first and mention you are aware this may be new and uncomfortable for some.  Take the elephant out of the room before it has a chance to enter.”
  • Buy or make a special ornament that has meaning for you

Have something to hold onto when you are alone or with a group of people.  This will help you focus on something else when you do not want the tears to come full stream.

  • Holding onto a warm cup of tea or any thing
  • Having a memory rock or something that has special meaning to you that can be rubbed in your hand that no one else is aware of or pays any attention to

A few extra ideas if you are invited out;

  1. Have an exit plan in your mind ahead of time in case you need it to leave the “party”
  2. Let someone else know you may need their support to get through the event or have them keep an eye on you in case you need them.  Sometimes, friends just know what to do
  3. “Maybe” is an answer to an invite; “Maybe, if I am up to it, I will attend

PAUSE… take a deep breath,

BELIEVE you can handle this


All my best,

Barbara Gillett Saunders

Grief Counsellor/Thanatologist