Grief During the Festive Season

The Holiday Season & Grief, a Mixture of Emotions.

The festive season and your grief can cause a mixture of emotions and feelings towards the usually joyful time of year. The Christmas music, decorations and events can seem all too much, while serving as a reminder you’re loved one is no longer here to participate in the family traditions. It’s important to remember that during the holidays, it’s ok to not feel ready to participate in the usual activities. Instead of pushing yourself, remember these tips to take care of yourself during this time.

  • Check in with yourself- How are you feeling today? Acknowledge your feelings and the grief you are experiencing over the holiday season.
  • It’s ok to say no. Be ok with saying no to the usual family traditions and events if you’re not up to it. If you feel like doing Christmas differently this year, be sure to let your family and friends know how you’re feeling.
  • Stay connected.  Surround yourself with supportive family and friends, people are here for you when you need them.

Finding Peace in the Season of Christmas.

You might feel you want to engage in some holiday traditions or make some new ones. Here are some strategies to honour your loved one and find peace.

  • Make a Christmas decoration to hang on your tree with their name or picture.
  • Light a candle next to their picture on Christmas morning.
  • Listen to their favourite music or Christmas carol with friends and family.
  • Share a Christmas memory of them.
  • Dress their chair at the dinner table with something special of theirs- why not nominate a member of the family to sit in their seat and start a family tradition of rotating this honour.
  • Buy a gift to donate to a charity in their name.

Above all, remember to do what feels right for you. Whether that be what you’d usually spend Christmas doing, or the opposite, there will always be another holiday season if you don’t feel up to the family traditions this year. 2020 has turned all our lives upside down, so give yourself some peace this Christmas and know that your loved one is always in your heart and memories.


For more information or support, please visit the following websites or call the numbers below.

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Neami National: 08 6252 0420
  • Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement: 1300 664 786
  • Compassionate Friends: 1300 064 068
  • Griefline: 1300 845 745
  • Headspace: 1800 650 890