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AARP Expert

Grieving Through the Holidays

Are you grieving the loss of a loved one (or a job, home, lifestyle, friend, ability...there are so many types of losses). This year, with the pandemic, grief is even more complex, and we are all likely grieving the loss of some of our treasured holiday traditions this year.

 

Regardless of the type of loss you are experiencing, grief is unique to everyone. There is no one right way to grieve. We all just need to do what feels right to us and try to have healthy outlets (like expressing yourself in this Online Community).

 

I originally wrote this column in 2012 after my niece died from suicide just after New Year's. That Christmas of 2012 was incredibly difficult for all of us. But I learned a lot. This year I've updated the column to reflect our current pandemic situation.

 

I hope some of my tips will help carry you through this season. Please share what you've learned in the comments below! Sending you peace and comfort this holiday season and throughout the year. ❤️

 

9 Tips for Dealing with Grief During the Holiday Season

 

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Take care,

Amy Goyer, AARP Family & Caregiving Expert

Author, Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving

Periodic Contributor

Thank you for posting this. I loss my mom 10/29/21. She was my best friend

AARP Expert

@CynthiaM250211 I'm so very sorry for your loss  - and it is so very fresh. My Mom died on 10-11-13 about a week earlier than your mom. The holidays were so hard for me that year and for many years after. It does get easier to deal with over time. I promise. We don't stop missing them and longing for them. But it gets easier and we somehow sort of get used to the idea. Life will never be the same, that's for sure. I hope you will find moments of joy this holiday season and that you'll be able to do some things to honor her. That has always made me feel more connected. ❤️

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This is the first holiday without my mom and I don’t want to be around my family for some reason. I miss her apple pies, her smiling and talking about what she is going to shop for her grandchildren and great grandchildren. I’m the oldest daughter and born December 16, so close to Christmas that’s the best time for me, I always got 2 gifts in December.

Just as her birthday was May 15 and Mother’s Day in the same month she got 2 gifts as well. So I will visit my mom on Christmas Day and spend some time with her. That makes me happy 

AARP Expert

@teresap484045 I'm so sorry for your loss. The firsts are always the hardest. I'm glad you have made a plan and feel good about it. Do what brings you peace and moments of joy. And also allow yourself to change your mind or do whatever feels right to you on the holidays. Be gentle with yourself! Thank you for sharing about your mom's apple pie and her excitement about gifts for grandchildren etc. - keep sharing your memories of her, let people know it's ok to talk about her. Do things to honor her. You'll get through this! And it will get easier to manage over time, I promise. Right now, just one day at a time. Sending you a virtual hug! ❤️

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Anonymous
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This is a very helpful post by @agoyer who is an AARP Expert. We chatted awhile here on the board a few days ago. Our chat is posted here.

AARP Expert

@Anonymous thank you!!! Sending you a virtual hug 🙂 

Anonymous
Not applicable

June 10, 2021

 

@agoyer sorry for your loss 😭 and thanks for tips.

AARP Expert

@Anonymous thank you so much - and I hope the tips are helpful! I find that every holiday gets me still. My Dad died 3 yrs ago June 13th - and I still struggle with the grief for him and Mom and my sister and my niece. But I will say. that it's not as intense as it used to be. It does get easier in some ways.  Take care...

Anonymous
Not applicable

You are welcome @agoyer !!!! It is not just the holidays for me, it is when I have way too much time to think. That is when my tears start. I have learn't to let the crying session run its course and start my meltdown texts to my only child in Melbourne, Florida. I live in Cave Spring, Virginia but will be moving to Florida next year July 2022. The pandemic put my retirement plans on hold and rental prices are ridiculous. I retired last year July 2020 😀 Now to hope life is back to normal by then 🙄 Will miss the 4 seasons, and lol dreading my hot flashes in hot and humid Florida 🤣😂 But I need to move closer = easier end of life process for my sweet and loving daughter. I want to rent a Tiny House in Florida. Here in Virginia they are not zoned. I finally got to see and walk inside one a few years ago. Want one!!! And yes, your tips helped. Thank you 🤗

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AARP Expert

@Anonymous Sounds like you've really got a plan in place and that always feels better!  So fortunate to have a sweet and loving daughter! Good for you for making the move now when you can enjoy life and see her more, and also think ahead to future needs. I live in Alexandria, VA and they just passed an accessory dwelling unit policy - don't know the details but I think tiny houses will be included! They are mostly county or city regulations and zoning. Hope you can find something good in Florida!!! 

Anonymous
Not applicable

Thank you @agoyer for caring! (lots of hugs coming your way). Angela 😁

AARP Expert

@Anonymous Absolutely! All we can do is one day (sometimes one minute) at a time. Life will always be different, but that doesn't preclude life being good too. Big hugs back to you!!! 💗

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