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Image by David Becker

Grief Tool Box

Image by Khadeeja Yasser

Holiday Help


“The holidays are times spent with our loved ones.” This has been imprinted on our psyche from a young age. Holidays mark the passage of time in our lives. They are part of the milestones we share with each other and they generally represent time spent with family. But since holidays are for being with those we love the most, how on earth can anyone be expected to cope with them when a loved one has died? For many people, this is the hardest part of grieving, when we miss our loved ones even more than usual. How can we celebrate togetherness when there is none?

When you lose someone special, your world lacks its celebratory qualities. Holidays magnify that loss. The sadness deepens and the loneliness can feel isolating. The need for support may be the greatest during the holidays. Pretending you don’t hurt and/or it isn’t a harder time of the year is just not the truth for you. But you can – and will – get through the holidays. Rather than avoiding the feelings of grief, lean into them. It is not the grief you want to avoid, it is the pain. No one can take that pain away, but grief is not just pain, grief is love.  

Grief an be a very unpredictable experience, you may feel fine one day and in despair the next, this is normal. Allow your feelings to just ‘be’ and stay curious about what you are feeling emotionally, physically and mentally. Over time, the grief will still be there but you will learn how to work with it so it is not as disruptive and traumatic. Big life events, anniversaries and celebrations such as Easter can be an especially triggering time.


This can be due to the emotions tied up in the memories of the person or thing that is no longer in our lives. Be realistic about expectations of how you might cope during these times, and plan some self-care around events that are unavoidable, but intensely emotional for you. When we are using our Amygdala or our ‘emotional brain’, our frontal lobes, which are responsible for rational thinking, are shut off, which can make it difficult for us to think clearly, or put any of our self-care intentions into action. Have a go-to list of things, activities or people that will bring comfort or support during this time. Write them down and keep them close by when you feel you may struggle to recall them.

Just Remember

Holidays are clearly some of the roughest terrains we navigate after a loss. Finding meaning in the loss is as individual as we are. We often say a part of us died with them, but finding meaning is also realizing a part of them still lives within us. What is vitally important is that we be present for the loss in whatever form the holidays do or don’t take. These holidays are part of the grieving journey that we must fully feel. They are usually very sad, but sometimes we may catch ourselves doing okay, and we may even have a brief moment of laughter. Now more than ever, be gentle with yourself. Don’t do more than you want, and don’t do anything that does not serve your soul, your loss, or the meaning that still lives within you.

Quick Menu


Valentines Day

Image by Derek Thomson

Mother's day

Father's Day

Family Day


Truth & Reconciliation Day



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Remembrance Day

Veteran's Day

Memorial Day



New Year's Eve & Day

Flower Decorated Cake

Anniversaries &


Decorated Eggs

Easter &


Bodhi Day


Ramadan & Eid aliFitr

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Image by Juliette F

Thanksgiving Day

Image by Raspopova Marina

Christmas Season

Lantern Festival

Lunar New Year

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