...still family-owned.

Coping with Loss During the Holidays: How to Navigate Grief During the Festive Seasons

For those who have recently lost someone close to them, the holiday season brings new challenges on top of existing grief. Family traditions and celebrations that once brought joy can now stir intense feelings of loneliness and sadness. However, with understanding and support, it is possible to navigate this difficult time.

Acknowledge Your Feelings

Hiding your true emotions in order to spare others from discomfort will only make the grief feel heavier to bear alone. Expressing sadness openly through tears, sharing fond memories, or just communicating your longing for your loved one are all natural parts of mourning. Speaking with others who allow vulnerable expression, such as close family and friends, can help to process painful feelings and alleviate some of the acute sense of loss. Journaling thoughts and feelings is another effective way to acknowledge your personal experience without worrying about burdening others. Writing letters to the deceased can feel cathartic as well. While the festive season may emphasize the physical absence of your person, granting yourself permission to feel and communicate your authentic reactions, rather than putting on a brave face, is an important step in navigating this transitional period.

Modify Traditions

Long-held holiday customs and rituals were likely shared with your late loved one in past years. Faithfully recreating every detail of previous celebrations could unintentionally stir distressing comparisons to when your person was alive. Give yourself grace by making reasonable adjustments that show self-compassion. This might mean opting to observe treasured traditions on a new day when their spirit can be honored without added sorrow. Creating new meaningful traditions tailored to life after loss empowers your healing journey. Do only what feels right without guilt over breaking from routine out of necessity for seasonal self-care. The goal should be honoring life changes at your own pace, not meeting expectations of others.

Schedule Distractions

While alone time has its place, prolonged isolation over the holidays can allow grief to feel overwhelming. Gentle distractions provide important respite from mourning without dismissing it.


Plan low-key activities like meeting a compassionate friend, enjoying nature, volunteering, or attending services – anything engaging enough to temporarily redirect brooding thoughts. Keep obligations light and focus on low-stress outlets.


Distraction should not replace grieving, but finding periods of respite through outlets gives emotions space to ebb in a manageable way. Be kind to yourself through fluctuating holiday days and nights with rest and gentle distraction alongside mourning. Making time for reprieve helps grief feel bearable rather than all-consuming during this difficult season.


Lean on Your Support System

Spending time with caring loved ones is important during this difficult period. However, remember that others in your inner circle may also be grieving in their own way. Family and close friends of the deceased will each have a unique grieving process.


While you take priority in openly working through your emotions, be aware that others may also be navigating their own sadness too. Give space for others to share what they’re feeling without pressure to “be strong.” Joint remembrance through storytelling or quiet reflection can help in bonding through shared mourning.


Surround yourself with those accepting of any emotional expression, whether through laughter or tears, without judgment. It is important to show patience and understanding (in many cases self understanding) that grieving looks different for everyone. Avoid interactions focused on diverting from grief rather than sincerely supporting its journey. Together, lean on each other through this challenging season, strengthening connections through shared loss.


Professional Support

If loneliness, sadness or anxiety related to holidays persists or worsens, do not isolate further. Reach out for help through counseling or local bereavement groups. The team atAlex Gow Funerals’ team are well equipped to help – their decades of experience supporting locals through all mourning stages positions them to provide compassionate guidance unique to your situation.


Alex Gow Funerals understands how challenging this time of year can be when coping with loss. As a locally owned and family operated business for over a century, our priority is providing compassionate guidance and a listening ear. Don’t struggle with grief alone – contact us any time at (07) 3851 7800 to discuss your situation in confidence. Getting support can help lighten the burden and hasten your emotional healing process over the holidays.


Alex Gow Funerals understands how challenging this time of year can be when coping with loss. As a locally owned and family operated business for over a century, our priority is providing compassionate guide

...still family-owned.


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