A loss of a loved one is an unimaginable feeling, you think you’re prepared but then it hits you, and you’re left with this aching in your heart for the empty space left behind. You want to hit the pause button, go on hiatus for awhile, your energy is overtaken by a grief yet, the sun rises and sets, and life keeps moving.

Then the holidays set in, families start gathering, the tree glistens with decorations and lights, and as you look around to see the Christmas cheer everywhere, you also see that piece of you that is gone.

So how do you cope?

What can you do?

#1 Take A Deep Breath And Get As Ready As You Can For The Emotions.

It is never going to get easier! I don’t care who says losing a loved one gets easier over time, it doesn’t, time only dispenses our grief slowly so that we learn to adjust, and find our grounding. As the holidays approach you know you are already feeling the emptiness and sadness, so let yourself feel it, don’t suck it back in! But please, as you feel this emptiness, you must also find ways to help yourself to be-well. Take a deep breath, know you are not alone, there are ears to listen if you ask, and arms to hug you when you need. Write about how you’re feeling, write about your memories, write about love, life and your loved ones above.

#2  Be Willing To Make New Memories And Traditions As Well As Honor The Old.

New traditions are always the hardest, we want so much for our loved one’s to be there as we unwrap our gifts or cook the feast for our families, and often times we feel like we should not celebrate Christmas for they are not here to partake. I have had some people tell me that they feel if they bring in the Christmas spirit, they will hurt their loved ones on the other side. The truth is, your angels (loved ones up above) are celebrating new, and old, traditions with you. Don’t be afraid to add a new tradition to your Christmas, this will allow for the blending of a new chapter in life. You could start a tradition of lighting a white candle for them at Christmas to bring their light to you, even starting a new tradition of getting a Christmas ornament that represents them for you to hang on your Christmas tree.

Make new memories, because your loved ones are making them with you.

#3  Keep Their Memories Alive, Reminisce And Hold Them Close.

All too often we clam up and decide that we don’t want to remember because it is too painful. But, if you sit around the table and everyone tells a story of a memory, then that space of emptiness you feel doesn’t cut so deep. Memories are windows to our loved ones that open our hearts and minds, so that we can cope with a loss; they are treasures that protect us from disconnecting from love.

Hold them close, speak their names, laugh, cry, and be brave enough to love them in your time of grief.

#4 Include Them In Your Holidays.

In memory of; there are many ways you can include them in your holidays, and as you do this, you open your heart to healing. Your loved ones passed are physically gone but their spirit remains. Leaving a chair open at the dinner table, or,  hanging a stocking for them so you can put letters or notes in it that you wish to send to them.

On thanksgiving a couple years back, we all gathered around the table to sit down and eat. There was a kids table, and an adult table and we were sure we had enough seats. We had just lost someone very dear to us all, we were all thinking about him that day (and always). We all sat down to eat, and between his parents was an empty chair. We didn’t plan it, we had counted all the chairs and people, and had just enough, but,  for a divine reason that empty chair was there, and it filled the room with faith.

 Don’t think it silly to include them in your holidays, they may be gone from human form, but they are never far away.

#5 Have A Special Moment Just For You and Them

Just a little time for you and your  memories. Taking time for how you remember them and allowing yourself the space to be with how you feel. Create something special that only you do to send your love to them.  I say a prayer and tell them how much I love them, I set some private time to speak out loud with them I ask for signs, and, I ask them to help me heal. Take out their picture and give it a smooch, why not? there is nothing wrong with sending them love.

#6 Let Faith Guide You

You do not have to believe in heaven or God to have faith, in fact, you can believe in the Universe, Angels, and any Divine Light you choose. Letting faith guide you to trust that there is more to life than this, and your loved ones have only transitioned to another form. Have faith that you can make it through. Have faith in Angels and their wings. Have faith in your loved ones watching over you.

#7 Mend Your Broken Heart With Love

Allow joy and love to fill your holiday season, enjoy the time you have with those you love dear who are still here. Give love to yourself as well, it is so important to find time to love yourself through the healing process and to stop thinking of the could haves, should haves and regrets.

#8 Do What You Can

You do not have to push through, you can stop and take a break, you can change course at any time even. You can ask for help, or you can tell others you need some time, the only thing you should not do,  is nothing. Do what you can, smile when you can, laugh when you can, cry when you can. It is OK to not have it all together!

Much Love To You and Yours This Holiday Season