What No One Talks About: Grief During the Holidays

coping with grief

Haley enjoyed her last holiday in the fresh air and sunshine with her little sissy.

If you’ve lost a pet,  the holidays can be difficult. Your friend who was always with you to celebrate is no longer there. The hole she left makes your heart ache.

“The expectation of a holiday filled with warmth, peace and joy may be unrealistic for many who have lost a loved one, especially within the past year,” says Penelope Buschman, director of the psychiatric nurse practitioner program at Columbia University School of Nursing.

This article, though it’s geared toward losing a person, has some excellent advice for pet parents coping with grief, including:

First and foremost, allow your feelings to serve as cues for how you can make yourself most comfortable. Grieving is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor.

There is no one right way to do it. One person might feel like the holidays are just too much to deal with and choose not to participate in any festivities. Another might relish the idea of being surrounded by loved ones in a festive environment.

Take some time to sit down and reflect on what you feel like you need. Try to put aside the idea of obligations you might feel to others and focus on what will make you most comfortable.

Read the full article at GoodTherapy.org.

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