Weekly Tips & Insights

Dealing with grief over the holidays

The holidays can be one of the most difficult times of the year to manage grief with the festive season often making the loss of a family member more painful. VNA’s chaplain Kathleen Stock has been working at VNA for over 17 years, and she explains that a family member's death changes the expectations of the holidays.

“Holidays are filled with expectations of how things should be,” said Stock. “When there’s a death of a loved one those expectations are changed, because that person is no longer a part of that experience.”

Stock encourages families to find someone else to inherit some of the jobs or the traditions that loved one carried out to hold onto his or her memory. Planning ahead for the holidays is also a way to prepare for a period of grief. Stock says that the healthiest way to respond to bereavement during the holidays is to know that you can do things differently.