Managing Grief during the Holiday Season

Karen T. Hluchan
6 min readDec 14, 2023
Angel in Heaven

The holiday season is a time of celebration and joy with friends and family. For those who recently lost loved ones or who are still deep in the grieving process, it can be painful as they remember times past when loved ones were there, as well as sadness for the loss of their physical presence during the current holiday. There are wistful thoughts of how a loved one in spirit would have enjoyed a particular activity or laughed at the antics of our relatives or friends. It is a bittersweet time of sadness when the world around us is partaking in traditions designed to bring people together and celebrate the love we share with one another. For those who are grieving, it can feel as though there is a giant hole in our hearts as we keenly miss the presence of those who have crossed over into Heaven.

The First Year

When my father crossed over into Heaven several years ago, the first year was the hardest. Each milestone event, birthday, holiday, and family celebration brought a reminder of his passing. My heart would ache with the loss, even though I knew he was watching over me and my family from Heaven. He had passed in the month of September, which meant the holidays were right around the corner. I was not in the mood to celebrate, let alone drag out all the decorations for the house and my Christmas tree. It was around that time I received wonderful advice which helped me not only get through the holidays, but also ease the pain in my heart. The advice was to try to maintain my holiday traditions as much as possible and to create new ones in honor of my father. At the same time, if I felt the need to pull back from some of the other holiday celebrations, such as ones with friends or coworkers, it would be okay to do so if I did not feel up to it. Being alone on the big holidays was not a good idea, such as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, because it could only lead to greater sadness. That first year I did decline many of the holiday invitations I received from people outside of my family. My friends certainly understood my need for some quiet time away from the crowds. Instead, I read books and worked on art projects as a way of giving myself time to rest. I decorated my house and my Christmas tree. Even though tears streamed down my face as memories of Christmases past brought the pain of the loss of my dad to the…

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Karen T. Hluchan

I am a international Spirit Medium, Reiki master, paranormal investigator, motivational speaker, spiritual artist, and author of “How Have You Loved?”