The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are usually a joyful season, a time for traditional family gatherings that become a source of countless treasured memories for years to come. Ironically, that’s also what can make the holidays so difficult after the loss of loved one.

When lingering grief meets the feelings of happiness that are often inspired by the holidays, the result can be conflicting emotions that are unsettling – and even upsetting.

It’s certainly understandable if the holidays are hard to face after losing a loved one. This usually happy time may seem muted, sad, and yes, even painful. But the holiday season can also be a time of healing, as you and your friends share cherished holiday memories of your loved one, while also moving on with the traditions you have found so comforting through the years.

So while the holidays might seem painful in some ways, they can also be a healing step in learning to deal with your loss. By taking advantage of the opportunity to share your treasured memories, you can slowly shift your focus from your loved one’s death to his or her life. It can be a step toward finally thinking of him or her with more smiles than tears.

If you, or someone you love, are entering this holiday season trying to cope with the loss of a loved one, don’t go it alone. Share your feelings with people you love, and seek out resources to help you work through the pain. CareNotes booklets, created and printed at Saint Meinrad, offer guidance about various types of grieving issues, including grief during the holidays.

You can browse through all the CareNotes at their website.

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