Preparing for Holidays Without a Loved One

Holidays are supposed to be a time of fun, celebration and creating happy memories with family and friends.

For some people however, certain holidays – particularly Christmas and New Years – can be an especially difficult time if you’re dealing with the recent loss of a loved one.

The themes and events of the holidays can be a reminder of the loss instead of the joyous occasions they are meant to be.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help make the festivities more enjoyable.

Allow time to grieve and acknowledge that most holidays will be challenging

How you grieve is unique to you, but it is vital to coping. The important thing is to understand that grieving is part of healing. Though the holidays can amplify your grief, they can also help you understand and accept the loss, and eventually, move on from it. These feelings are a healthy sign of healing, even if they are heightened during a holiday.

Create new memories to recognize your loved one

While associating happy holiday memories with your lost loved one can make you feel sad, it is also an opportunity to create new memories in their honor.

“Decide which traditions you’re going to keep,” says Janice Smallwood at Norberg Memorial Home, Inc. & Monuments in Princeton. “You may also choose to create new traditions, such as lighting a candle in their memory.”

Other ways to create new holiday traditions in honor of your lost loved one might be eating their favorite food, attending a favorite event or place of theirs, or enhancing old traditions to acknowledge their presence.

Keep the company of those you care about

Other people may not want to spend the holiday in the same way you do, and that’s perfectly okay. But whether it’s a large gathering, or just sitting with a friend, keeping company with people who matter to you is healthy and helpful in the grieving process. Doing so also helps keep you socially active.

Lastly, it’s important to be honest with yourself and others. Let it be known what you want and what you don’t want. This will help tailor your holiday experience to what is comfortable for you.

For any questions or information, please visit or call 815-875-2425.

Norberg Memorial Home, Inc. & Monuments

701 E. Thompson St

Princeton, IL 61356