Dealing with the Holidays


This little Christmas tree was inspired by Pinterest. The idea behind it is to make a new tradition at the holidays. Just to leave an empty chair for a loved one who has died.

Linda Hayner, Sports Editor

Being together with family is a key factor within the holidays. That makes it difficult for surviving family members grieving the loss of a loved one. Although the holidays can still pull tears from everyone in a family, you can learn how to help one another through them.


Grief is comprehensive and can unfold itself in the form of major depression. Outbursts of anger, fits of crying, loss of sleep, fluctuating appetite, and depressed mood swings are ordinarily seen during grieving.


Grief is messy. No one grieves the same, and there is no correct way to grieve. Emotions can clash and become chaotic within families. Holidays can become burdensome when their purpose is joy and liveliness.


Here are some helpful tips to get through holidays (birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) without a loved one. Try a new tradition even as small as leaving one empty seat open at the table. Modify the way it is celebrated. Instead of the normal turkey dinner on Thanksgiving, a family can change the food to the loved one’s favorite meal. Planning a trip is also another way to get through some holidays.


People grieving the loss of a loved one must remember to give themselves time to heal. 


Janet Martinez, a DHS freshman who lost her dad, said, ”The holidays have changed like I never get to spend the holidays with my dad’s side of the family anymore. My birthday was right after he passed and we didn’t really celebrate it. I just got presents and that was it. I haven’t fully processed him being gone,” said Martinez. 


The grieving process is time-consuming and may feel like a hassle, but to feel better, this time is necessary to be able to move on. Taking therapy is a big way to cope. Talking to someone you trust is a good way to let off steam, cry, or even just babble all your feelings.


With another holiday creeping around the corner, people experiencing a loss must remember they are not alone. Death may be difficult, but it is natural. It does not get “better” or “easier,” but you learn to cope as time prevails.