20 Tips For Coping With Grief In The Holidays

Updated: Dec 22, 2021


Coping With Grief In The Holidays

1. Acknowledge that the holidays will be different and they will be tough.

2. Decide which traditions you want to keep.

3. Decide which traditions you want to change.

4. Create a new tradition in memory of your loved one.

5. Decide where you want to spend the holidays – you may want to switch up the location, or it may be of comfort to keep it the same. Either way, make a conscious decision about location.

6. Plan ahead and communicate with the people you will spend the holiday with in advance, to make sure everyone is in agreement about traditions and plans.

7. Remember that not everyone will be grieving the same way you are grieving.

8. Remember that the way others will want to spend the holiday may not match how you want to spend the holiday.

9. Put out a ‘memory stocking’, ‘memory box’, or another special place where you and others can write down memories you treasure. Pick a time to read them together.

10. Light a candle in your home in memory of the person you’ve lost.

11. Include one of your loved one’s favorite dishes in your holiday meal.

12. Be honest. Tell people what you DO want to do for the holidays and what you DON’T want to do.

13. Make a donation to a charity that was important to your loved one in their name.

14. Buy a gift you would have given to your loved one and donate it to a local charity.

15. If you are feeling really ambitious, adopt a family in memory of your loved one. This can often be done through a church, salvation army, or goodwill.

16. See a counsellor. Maybe you’ve been putting it off. The holidays are especially tough, so this may be the time to talk to someone.

17. Pick a few special items that belonged to your loved one and gift them to friends or family who will appreciate them.

18. Make a memorial ornament, wreath, or other decoration in honor of your loved one.

19. If you have been having a hard time parting with your loved one’s clothing, use the holidays as an opportunity to donate some items to a homeless shelter or other charity.

20. Send a holiday card to friends of your loved one who you may regret having lost touch with.

Useful contacts Need assistance⬇️

Call us for bereavement advice Contact us on 0800 634 9494. We're open from 9am to 5pm Mon - Fri. We are closed on bank holidays.There are so many organisations that provide invaluable information and support to people affected by bereavement. Some serve a specific geographical area or people affected by a particular type of death. To avoid this page becoming just another phone directory we have given details of just a selection below. Please be aware that some of these organisations are staffed by volunteers and may provide an answer-machine service at times.

The Samaritans 24 hour helpline support every day of the year for anyone in distress including those who are feeling suicidal.

  • 08457 90 90 90

  • www.samaritans.org

Medical Emergencies - dial 999 Medical advice in a non-emergency situation - dial 111 NHS Choices www.nhs.uk Gives access to find NHS services including hospitals and local doctors and helpful information on a huge variety of health related topics. Psychological/emotional support for all ages Cruse Bereavement Care

  • www.cruse.org.uk

  • helpline@cruse.org.uk

  • 0808 808 1677

Helpline opening hours: Monday - Friday 9.30am - 5pm (excluding bank holidays) with extended hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to 8pm Young People's website: hopeagain.org.uk Provides one-to-one and other support to the bereaved organised through local branches - find your local branch number on the website. Information about bereavement and other issues on helpline and excellent bookshop on the website. Death of a baby or child and/or children affected by a death Miscarriage Association

  • 01924 200799

  • www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

Originally founded by people who had experienced miscarriage it continues to provide support and encourage good care by professionals. Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society (SANDS)

  • 0808 164 3332

  • helpline@sands.org.uk

  • www.sands.org.uk

Welcomes calls from anyone affected by a stillbirth or a baby, family, friends or professionals including long after the event. Child Bereavement UK

  • 0800 028 8840 for the Information & Support Team

  • www.childbereavementuk.org

A charity that has a dual focus of training professionals who work with families and children affected by a death which also produces excellent resources that can be used by those who are bereaved. This includes families and professionals supporting children affected by the death of an adult or anyone affected by the death of a child.

Winston's Wish

  • 08088 020021

  • www.winstonswish.org.uk

Gives support for those caring for children affected by the death of a parent or a sibling and to the children themselves.

TCF (formerly The Compassionate Friends)

  • 0845 123 2304 (Every day of the year 10am to 4pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm)

  • www.tcf.org.uk

Support by telephone, befriending and local groups for anyone affected by the death of a child.

Please note that this charity supports people irrespective of the age of the child at the time of death i.e. the child may have reached adulthood.


Macmillan Cancer Support

  • 0808 808 0000 (Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm)

  • www.macmillan.org.uk

Information and support for anyone affected by cancer whether they have been diagnosed themselves or are a family member, carer or friend.


Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide

A self help organisation which exists to meet the needs of those bereaved by the suicide of a family member or anyone close to them.


Death of a pet

The Blue Cross

Support following the loss of a companion animal.

  • 0800 096 6606 everyday 8.30am to 8.30pm

  • www.bluecross.org.uk

Practical issues

Citizens Advice

www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Advice is not available from a national number. This site gives information and links to local Citizens Advice Bureaux.


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