Sunday, November 16, 2014

Getting Through the Holidays

When the holidays are near and festivities and social gatherings prominent, we may feel the loss of our loved ones more at this time of the year than any other. We wonder how to get through these special times since we are filled with reminders of what we no longer have. Below I have listed some books that may be of help and support to you that are specifically about surviving the holidays.

When the Holidays Hurt: Practical Ideas and Inspiration for Healing by Nan Zastrow
The death of someone loved may be the reason associated with the lonesomeness and pain. Life and holidays, as you once knew them, have changed. In this collection of articles and essays, Nan writes about managing the traditions, transforming the holiday and allowing family to move forward. Available through

Open to Hope: Inspirational Stories for Handling the Holidays After Loss by Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley and Open to Hope contributors
There is plenty of practical advice and encouragement from the stories and articles covering rethinking holiday traditions, gathering at Thanksgiving, finding your way back to Christmas and embracing the New Year with hope. Articles are written by bereaved people representing different relationships and causes of death. Even if the article is not about a child loss, the ideas may be helpful to your situation.

Thoughts for the Holidays: Finding Permission to Grieve by Doug Manning
This booklet begins with thoughts for the holidays, the waves of grief, the holiday dilemma, permission to do what you can do, permission to change traditions, and permission to find safe people. Available through

How to Survive the Holidays When Someone You Love Has Died by Susan L. Fuller
This short Kindle e-book notes that as tempting as it may be to pull the covers up over your head and just wait for the holidays to be over, there is no way of truly avoiding this time of year. With a little bit of planning, it is possible to navigate your way through without totally falling apart, whether you decide to do things completely differently, exactly the same or something in-between.

Not Just Another Day by Missy Lowery
This book covers the more common holidays and gives good ideas for including children in celebrating birthdays and Christmas. Includes a list of things to do to take care of yourself for a month. Available through

A Decembered Grief: Living with Loss while Others Are Celebrating by Harold Ivan Smith
The author coaches you on how to alter traditions instead of abandoning them, appreciate the grief styles of others and befriend your grief instead of dreading it. Topic headings include suggestions like Journal Your Grief, Create Ornaments, and something simple as a Nap! The encouragement to continue on is clearly and gently given.

Helping the Bereaved Celebrate the Holidays by James Miller
A step-by-step guide to designing what you’ll do, the time of gathering, poems, leaser and people responses, and many other general guidelines. Available through

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