Hanging on through the holidays when you’ve lost someone you love

Beth Marshall

The music, smell of gingerbread, and shimmering lights usually stir up warm holiday memories, but this year something is missing. Actually, someone is missing, and the holiday cheer seems to be making things worse. My most intense journey of grief came suddenly, beginning weeks before the holidays with the death of my mom. “Beazy” was more than a mom; she was my best friend. The thought of Christmas without her was impossible to imagine.

If you’ve lost someone close this year, you may understand. Maybe you’re wondering how you’ll be able to hang on through the holidays. If you’re tempted to pull the covers over your head and hibernate through December, don’t give up. Hopefully, one of these tips will bring a smile this season.

1. Keep it fresh. 

You may have seen Beazy on the interstate. She was the cautious driver with loud Christmas music playing and a wreath on her blue Honda. After her death, some of the most comforting moments I recall were spent writing in my journal, remembering her hilarious stories. The journal was also a safe place, somewhere I didn’t have to pretend everything was OK.

Consider creating a place to keep your memories, photos, and special recipes. Telling the classic stories of the person you’re missing this holiday season and in years to come is a beautiful way to honor their memory.

2. Keep it simple. 

Can you imagine December without a manic pace of cooking, decorating, entertaining, shopping, and events? Would you consider taking a break from the insanity this year, and experiencing the parts of the holidays you love?

With the hard work of grief, this is a perfect time to think about letting stressful holidays go, maybe forever. Simplifying your schedule can create a little calmness during a chaotic season of life.

3. The Blessing Box

Is there a gift your loved one gave you, not a tangible gift but something else? Think about something you received, because they were part of your life. Maybe it was the gift of laughter or compassion. Dr. Darcie D. Sims, director of the American Grief Academy, suggests writing whatever comes to your mind on small strips of paper and putting them in a box.

Keep the box somewhere close. Whenever you open your blessing box, you’ll be reminded of the person you’re missing and the unique gifts they gave you. One of the treasured gifts in my blessing box is the unconditional love Beazy gave me. I’m smiling right now just thinking about her gift.

Hold your priceless gifts close this holiday season.

Related Content

to Discover More

Article

Grieving? Here’s how to survive the holidays

death christmas grief

What do you do when the happiest season of all doesn’t seem happy at all? Whether it’s a scary medical diagn... read more

Read Article

Article

Feeling down? How to make it when the days aren’t merry or bright

depression christmas grief

The merry-go-round of lyrics that inhabit our minds from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve is in full swing. For... read more

Read Article

Story

Nikki is finding her identity in the One who created her

identity relationships gauntlet grief following jesus

Nikki Beville is on a journey with God discovering who she is in Him and how to have a deeper relationship wi... read more

Read Story

Sermon

Good News That Will Cause Great Joy

christmas joy rescue following jesus

At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but what does it mean that Jesus brings joy to the world? In t... read more

Watch Sermon

Article

"Joy To The World" toolkit

christmas joy thankfulness toolkit

We spend our lives pursuing happiness, but it never seems to last.  What we need is what only God offers us —... read more

Read Article

Study

Advent: A 23-Day Devotional

christmas

Jesus brought hope to the world, including the outsiders, the non-religious, the people others overlooked. Th... read more

Read Study

What's happening at NewSpring Church?

  • Need to Know: Weekly email to keep you informed about what's happening at NewSpring
  • Fuse News: Email for Fuse parents sent on the first Monday of the month
  • KidSpring Scoop: Email sent at the beginning of each series to give you the scoop on what's happening in KidSpring
  • Read My Bible: Daily devotional sent via text from 6-7am

Subscribe