Why do I always feel worse at the holidays?
It seems that every Christmas I spin into depression over the death of our son. Why am I feeling this way?
For most families the season of the holidays is a time for celebration and joy. But when tragedy and loss have occurred, the holidays can be a painful spotlight of the loss and emptiness that the family is experiencing. The prospect of facing the holidays without the loved one can be an intense source of stress and anxiety.
While no single set of words can normalize the feelings or fill the gap caused by the loss, there are several strategies that can be used to minimize the pain and its effects. Let people know what your wishes for the holidays are. Don’t assume that people know what you are going through. Work hard to establish new traditions so that the surviving family members can have something that can be celebratory and include you. Finally, do some charitable service activities at the holidays specifically in memory of your loved one. It will be a concrete way of honoring the memory.