Holiday Grief Support


December's Grief:
Coping with the Holiday Season

A book should be a ball of light in one's hands. Ezra Pound


1. Noel, Brook. Surviving Holidays, Birthdays and Anniversaries. (Grief Steps Guide),
Sourcebooks, Inc., 2004.

Product Description: A caring and compassionate guide to help you through difficult days

Good cheer, laughter and happiness are emotions often associated with holidays and special occasions. Yet those experiencing grief feel a vastly different set of emotions.

In this caring and compassionate guide, Brook Noel explores the different challenges brought on by holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. She’ll share with you what to expect along with strategies for coping during these difficult days. You’ll also find some ideas for creating new rituals and incorporating your lost loved one into future celebrations.

2. Smith, Harold Ivan. A Decembered Grief: Living with Loss While Others Are Celebrating. Boston: Beacon Hill Press, 1999.

From the back cover: "Surviving the loss of a loved one at any time of the year is difficult. And when the grief becomes more intense during the holidays, weeks usually spent celebrating are now marred by awkwardness, unpredictable emotions and conflicting obligations.

With keen perception, A Decembered Grief provides illustrations and insights for those facing grief during the holidays--while emphasizing God's ability to...transform the season into a time of grace and healing."

Focuses on Christianity and the Christmas season, but carries helpful suggestions that can be applied to any holiday. The format is right for grievers: small sections that can be read at any time and in any order.

Examples of the wisdom you'll find here include: setting boundaries; recognizing the uniqueness of your grief; crying if you want to; altering, rather than abandoning, your traditions; unplugging the Christmas mania; honoring the one who died; and how to weigh the criticism you may get from friends and family.

Gentle, practical, compassionate and honest. The author has a clear and beautiful writing style. Consistently gets five-star reviews at online bookstores.

3. Wolfelt, Alan. Healing Your Holiday Grief: 100 Practical Ideas for Blending Mourning and Celebration During the Holiday Season. Fort Collins, CO: Companion Press, 2005.

From the publisher: "With compassionate insight, this handbook helps those in mourning through what can be the hardest time of year—the holiday season. Mourners will better understand their complex emotions after reading about such topics as honoring thoughts and feelings, creating new traditions, finding ways to de-stress, and incorporating healing rituals into the holiday season.

This book's practical wisdom also covers issues such as decision-making during the holidays and coping with the blending of mourning and celebration. All of the answers and advice in this guide are provided in the popular 100 ideas format that features one idea per page, allowing readers to fully absorb each suggestion."

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How complicated and individual mending is,
the time required for healing
cannot be measured against any fixed calendar
Mary Jane Moffat
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