Holiday Celebrations and the Grief-Wound

In our grief, holiday celebrations tend to reopen the grief-wound. 

We tend to play the “elephant in the room” game at the mention of our missing loved one. “If we don’t talk about how sad we are feeling we won’t spoil the day for others” is a common belief we carry into gatherings. 

The fallacy in this kind of thinking is that everyone is sad and missing this special person and they are all thinking the same about each other. SO bring those feelings out into the open and share them. At the beginning of the get together, allow yourself to say, “It just isn’t going to be the same this year without mom”, or "Who will carve the turkey now that dad is not here?” 

Another idea is to actually plan on including the person in the day. Since so much of our celebrations involve meals, reserve a place at the table, maybe put a picture instead of a plate and silverware in the reserved spot. 

Talk openly about him or her. Have each person present say what is in their heart as you go around the table before or after eating. The idea is to be open with everyone about the loss you are experiencing. Share stories and reminisce, get out the scrapbooks, cry, laugh and support one another. 

Your loved one will not be there physically but their spirit will be kept alive and cherished.

Something More about…  Holiday Celebrations and the Grief-Wound

I wish you warm blessings as you navigate the intensity of the holiday season.  If you haven’t already, you may want to have my little grief booklet to support you.

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Jody Pickrahn

I think my friend gave me one of these after my son died in June of this year, but I gave it to one of my other sons. Can I get another one?
Thank you
BK Books replied:
Jody, go to, click booklets, find the one you want and click on it. Ordering information will appear. Blessings to you and your family. Barbara

Rita Foell

Thank you I’d love to have this booklet, you have helped so much with the previous books. It’s almost 2 1/2 years since my husband passed and I miss him so much!
BK Books replied:
Hi Rita, the holidays seem to make the missing even harder. Blessings to you. Barbara


I understand the concept but in Hawaii the Asian population is very reserved so even when I encourage caregivers to talk about their loss it seldom happens. They seem to prefer to grieve in private. The one thing I stress is everyone grieves at their own pace so do not tell a loved one everything will be OK so get on with your life.
BK Books replied:
HI Ken, always good to hear from you. Good point about different cultures. Blessings to you in the work you are doing. Barbara

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