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Coping through Christmas ~ The Death of A Love One ~ Dealing with Grief and Loss

Updated on December 28, 2016

Christmas is a time of giving and sharing with others. Christmas can also be a pretty stressful and difficult time.

Whatever the cause, death can bring up difficult emotions, thoughts and experiences from the past.

And with these memories there are always tears.

No two people grieve the same, accepting the loss is a personal journey. How the journey is handled, how one copes with the grief and loss of a beloved family member or friend, cannot be clearly defined, but there are ways to learn about coping with grief.

I have found that there is no right way to handle the holiday season. Some may wish to follow the family traditions, while others may choose to change the normal holiday routine.

Taking some time out helps a lot, even if it is just an afternoon to snuggle under a blanket and watch DVD's, listening to music, gardening or reading. Spending some time alone creates a sense of peace and comfort.

I also find it important to put aside time to remember the love ones in our life who have passed away. Grief therapy or joining grief counseling groups can encourage one to participate in simple things like lighting a candle or visiting where the love one is buried or visiting a favorite place they visited when their love one was alive.

Grief Support Groups

Taking Care of Yourself

Grief takes time, and lots of work. Much of this is emotional work.

I have talked to many people who has put off their grieving.

When people spend a large amount of their time caring for others, it becomes easy to neglect their own needs by continuing to focus on the needs of others.

I found it very fulfilling to care for my grieving sons who lost their father, it was very exhausting. Since they were depending so much on me, I knew I had to take good care of myself and let myself grieve as well.

If you are one of those people who has other family members depending on you, your spouse, siblings, children, or a remaining parent. You may find it very easy to focus all your energy on others while neglecting your own needs.



Remember that one of the most important ways to care for those who depend on you, is to take good care of yourself. If you are attending to your own needs in healthy ways, you will be much more capable of meeting your family members needs as well.

Physical Needs



Grief doesn't just affect people emotionally, it affects them physically as well. Many people experience a loss of appetite, have problems sleeping, suffer from a lack of energy, or experience other physical symptoms.


There is no time limit on grief. The process of grieving takes time. It can take years, depending upon the attachment and bonding. It's and individual thing. We must accept that and be patient with ourselves.


Learning to cope with death, must not be confused with getting over a death. Getting over a loss is not the way death is. You learn to live with it. You will continue to deal with it and mourn. The hardest part is the acceptance of your love ones death.

Grief Counselors


The most important thing a grieving person needs is a sensitive listener, who will allow him or her to talk about what has happened. Grief Counselors or Grief Support Goups can provide reassurance that grief is the response of a healthy person making and attachment with someone and talking about the loss of their love one, no matter when the death occurred.


Whatever you do, however you need to do it, and as painful as the feelings may be, let your feelings flow, because you can heal only what you feel.


The pain you may be experiencing now will not always be so intense.  As you work through your grief, the pain will gradually lessen, until one day it becomes a bittersweet reminder that your loved one still lives on in your heart and in your memories.

Personal Grieving


I selected the topic death for my hubpage, because it remains very dear to my heart and this holiday season has increased my stress level. When my husband died three years ago from ALS. I had to lean on my faith and my friends to help me cope and accept the loss of my husband.


As a person, I tried to put my emotions back together. It has been very difficult and my life remains shattered. My husband of 25 years is no longer in my presence. He meant more to me than anyone else in this world. Noone knew him, like I knew him.


Today, I dedicate this poem to my late husband.

I Thought of You Today

And I wanted to say

I miss you

I like it here

But I want to be there


With you

I think of you every second


Of every day

Wishing you could be here


I thought of you on my way here

I thought of you in my sleep


I thought of you when I woke up and ate breakfast

I miss you


And wish you were here

I love you


By: Author Unknown

Grief Support Counseling

It would be great if we could all get together and support each other through the holiday season.


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    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 6 years ago from Houston, TX


      Thanks for your golden words of encouragement. I trust this Christmas will be enlightening and uplifting to you as well. Your Mother touched our lives tremendously with compassion, love and encouragement.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cheryl,

      Hope that this upcoming Christmas season will be a bit easier for you and your sons. Robert will always be an important part of your lives no matter what the future brings. Our loved ones live on in our memories and your dear husband touched our lives...if ever so briefly...but will be fondly remembered. Take care dear friend!

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 7 years ago from Houston, TX


      Thanks for your comfort and inspiration in your wonderful writings. You give so much joy.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Wise words Cheryl and a comfort to all of us who have already lost loved ones near and dear.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 7 years ago from Houston, TX


      Thanks for your warm comments. I know that God is blessing your life with your lovely family. It is so hurtful to lose a love one. The great prize is that we have not seen the last of our love ones. In God's book the endings of one's life are always the beginnings in His Kingdom.

    • profile image

      BeckyA 7 years ago

      Your hub hit home for me. There are so many people who will not be here for Christmas this year. Sometimes I find myself resenting the holidays because I am "supposed" to be happy, but I know that isn't reasonable.

      I had cancer a few years ago and was sent home early to have my "last" Christmas with my family - this year will be #8 and I am glad to be here with what family I have left, so I am holding onto that and remembering that I will see my loved ones again in Heaven.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 7 years ago from Houston, TX

      Hello Mae,

      Thank you for your comment on celebrating the loss of life.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 7 years ago from Houston, TX

      You are and Angel.

    • profile image

      Mae 7 years ago

      I grieve for those who lost their jobs, house, car, retirement and credit. I celebrate the loss of life because we were all born to die.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Coping through Christmas is particularly hard at this time of year when we have lost loved ones. We have to cling to the idea of seeing them again in the next life and treasure our memories. You are one of the kindest and most compassionate people I know! So very happy that we have become friends!

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 7 years ago from Houston, TX


      Thanks for reading my hubpage Coping through Christmas. It is a giant challenge for me right now. I am so happy my husband met two beautiful Angels. You and your precious Mother. I will always remember your kindness, compassion, love and generosity.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Oh Cheryl,

      This brought tears to my eyes and you know why. I am still grieving the loss of my mother and now another dear friend also died this very month. I know that you are still dealing with the loss of your wonderful husband and hope that you and your sons continue to heal and enjoy life. God bless you!