Just Hold On… When Grieving at the Holidays

Holidays and Special Days / Holidays and Special Days : Eleanor Haley

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We want to take a minute (really, this will only take a minute!) to remind you to hold on.

Hold on… When you find yourself crying into the cookie dough or casserole or whatever sentimental recipe you’re making.

drawing of a stick figure baking, sad

Hold on… When you hear that song that reminds you of your loved one.

chorus singing holiday music

Hold on… When you find yourself thinking“I wish they were here for this moment so badly it hurts.”

drawing of stick figure children by christmas tree with presents on christmas morning

Hold on… When you feel like you’re the only sad person in the whole wide world. You’re not.

drawing of stick figure sad woman surrounded by  happy, merry faces wearing santa hats

Hold on… During those quiet in-between moments when you feel your loved one’s absence most acutely.

drawing of stick figure man staring out window while it snows

Hold on because you’re going to make it.

Hold on because you’re not the only one.

Hold on because there’s hope that next year will be better.

Hold on because the holidays are almost over.

We want to wish you all a peaceful holiday filled with warm memories and love. As you make room for friends, family, and faith, be sure to make room for your loved one’s memory as well. You may shed many tears, but remember that your grief is an expression of love and such an expression is never wrong.

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After writing online articles for What’s Your Grief for over a decade, we finally wrote a tangible, real-life book!

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You can find What’s Your Grief? Lists to Help you Through Any Loss wherever you buy books:

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20 Comments on "Just Hold On… When Grieving at the Holidays"

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  1. Toni  December 25, 2019 at 1:37 pm Reply

    I’m having a hard time saying the words, good, merry, happy and the other adjectives that express a joyful moment. We prayed so hard to God to please let my son live through his ordeal that lasted six months before his passing on Mother’s Day, 2016. The prayers didn’t work. It felt like my husband and I had been punched n the gut! We exist like the series”The walking dead” we just exist. And it doesn’t get any easier! It’s Christmas Day and I just needed to vent.

  2. Dana Connelly  December 24, 2019 at 6:59 pm Reply

    Thank you for posting this. Thank you for writing this. Did my heart good to read it. All points hit home fir me. It’s my second Christmas without my mom and, by far, harder than the first. I’m going to Hold On!

  3. Vartan Agnerian  December 24, 2019 at 4:00 pm Reply

    Thank You for this precious minute of comfort and support of Holding On’
    Such difficult passage widowhood is’ Just have stayed sane beacause of all the grief websites ‘ through their long distance understanding and therapy’

  4. Magen Pinedo  December 7, 2019 at 4:41 am Reply

    I didn’t have any expectations regarding that title, but then the more I was
    amazed. The author did a great job. I spent a few minutes reading and checking the facts.
    Everything is clear and understandable. I enjoy posts that fill in your
    knowledge gaps. This one is of this sort. Moreover, I enjoy the way the author organized his thoughts as
    well as the visual part.

  5. Jeff  January 4, 2017 at 11:45 am Reply

    Your loved one wants you to try to smile. Write in a journal as that might help. When my mother passed away in 1992, I wrote to her in a journal. Sometimes telling her she was good to me and other times letting her know she could have been better. I wrote a song after she passed which helped me with the grief and Lord knows I cannot even recall how it goes now. Do random acts of kindness. Send a donation to a charity in honor of your loved one.

  6. Joan  January 3, 2017 at 7:56 pm Reply

    Still waiting for a confirmation email to subscribe…

  7. Sharon Rossy  December 29, 2016 at 5:07 pm Reply

    I just want to tell you that my thoughts and heart are with each one of you as we struggle to get through yet another major holiday. Funny how time just keeps moving. What others don’t realize is that time moves in a different way for us – same amount of hours – but how we get through it and what it means to us – is very very different.

    What I have found to be true is the poignancy of it all. I believe that we watch life slightly more detached because the reality is so different – and while we can find laughter and joy – our definition of what is happiness is far different from those who have been lucky enough not to follow in our footsteps.

    But more importantly, let New Years be a toast to our loved ones – our dear children who touched our lives in such profound ways – and that alone is the celebration we should have. They have shaped our lives in ways we could never imagine. And for that I am grateful.

    So I send you my love and my best wishes for peace during this incredibly crazy time of year.

    And thank you for being a part of the shared journey.

  8. Amy  December 27, 2016 at 5:45 pm Reply

    All these celebrity deaths are bringing out the “2016 sucks” tagline. If it was any other year I’d get it. I lost my boyfriend 13 days into 2016. I get upset when I see all these people posting about how 2016 sucks because they lost someone they didn’t know. I find myself getting angry and thinking “If only!”. If 2016 sucks for them it’s a rip your heart out, stomp on it, endless days of sadness and despair 2016 for me. They don’t even understand how monumentally bad 2016 sucks for those of us who lost someone we were so very close to this year. It’s not a good way to end a year but there it is. My holiday rant. I don’t mean to be bitter but I’m guessing I’m not the only one who feels this way. Just needed to put it out there. 🙂

  9. Jody  December 25, 2016 at 12:07 pm Reply

    Not finding any Merry or Happy in this season. Not wanting to make others sad so keeping it to myself.

  10. Sam  December 25, 2016 at 7:23 am Reply

    “We want to wish you all a peaceful holiday…” It’s not just “holiday”. It’s Christmas! 🙁

    • Litsa  December 25, 2016 at 10:13 pm Reply

      Yesterday, when this was posted, was the first day of Hanukkah as well, so people of many faiths are grieving this tough time of year.

  11. Terri Smith  December 25, 2016 at 6:53 am Reply

    I am trying to hang in there. I think I am doing everything right. You join many who tell me I am strong. I don’t feel strong right now. I usually try to identify as a Widow Warrior fighting onward, but for the last week or two I’ve felt more like a Weary, Weak Widow so tired of being sad.

    • Litsa  December 25, 2016 at 10:29 pm Reply

      Ah Terri, strong is just making it through the day! It is okay to not be okay sometimes and the holidays are often one of those times that weak and weary inches in. Sometimes it isn’t about fighting, it is about surviving. We know how much strength it takes to put one foot in front of the other and make it through the holiday season. Sending all our good thoughts your way to survive these tough weeks, one moment at a time.

  12. Margaret  December 24, 2016 at 9:28 pm Reply

    trying again to subscribe

  13. Kelly  December 24, 2016 at 8:12 pm Reply

    It’s hard to even remember it’s Christmas. All I know is tomorrow it will be a month ago that the love of my life left me. I don’t know if I am handling this well, whatever that is…

  14. Elaine  December 24, 2016 at 6:45 pm Reply

    Thank you… my first Christmas with Jeff and each and everything I do reminds me that he isn’t here…. trying to hang in there… trying…………..

    • Elaine  December 24, 2016 at 6:46 pm Reply

      ugh.. I meant without Jeff… can’t even type through the tears today

  15. Margie  December 24, 2016 at 5:04 pm Reply

    Yup, it’s almost over. And hugs really help too. Making plans with the girl squad for a dinner or two out on the town. Thinking positive thoughts for 2017, strength, faith and resilience.

  16. Estelle  December 24, 2016 at 4:08 pm Reply

    THANK YOU for these reminders .. especially the first few!!

    • Genevieve  December 24, 2016 at 4:24 pm Reply

      Thank you for these reminders. I’m so sad tonight missing my husband so much after 2 years and remembering past Christmas

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