End-of-life doula offers tips for grieving during the holidays

Posted at 5:49 PM, Dec 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-06 13:57:10-05

If you are grieving the loss of someone you love this holiday season, you might feel isolated because people around you are celebrating, but maybe you don't feel super festive.

End-of-life Doula Instructor Angela Shooksays that's totally ok, and your feelings are valid. She says acknowledging your feelings will help you through your grief.

She also recommends creating new traditions to honor their memory.

"One of my clients whose father recently passed, their father's birthday was actually on Christmas day and he loved Christmas," Shook said. "He was the one who loved hallmark movies. He decorated the minute thanksgiving was over. And so the first holidays without him were kind of hard. And so they decided, 'let's just have kind of a low-key Christmas this year, let's just be together, let's support each other.' But then they did a huge Christmas in July. So they still had that big celebration, but they gave themselves the space in a few months to deal with the rawness of the pain of him not being there."

That new tradition could also be something as simple as lighting a candle or making their favorite dish.

Other grieving tips include taking a break from social media, getting enough rest, taking care of yourself through good diet and exercise, and reaching out for support.

If you know you'll be around somebody grieving during the holidays, Shook says you should let them lead and give them the space to talk about their loved one if they want.