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Hurting Holidays

Coping Tips for Celebrating a Special Day Without Your Spouse


After the loss of a spouse, whether it be through death, divorce, or separation, the milestone dates that were part of your life together such as anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays, can be very painful.

It is during these times that your feelings of loss and being alone may be heightened.

Coping Ideas to Help You Through the Holidays

  • Take each day as it comes. Don't anticipate feeling horrid through those days that were special for the two of you.
  • Share your thoughts and feelings about the holidays with someone you trust.
  • Be realistic about what you can do during the holidays, both time wise and financially.
  • Although it can be healing to accept invitations to spend time with friends and family members, if you aren't ready for that, say so.
  • If your loved one has died, it can be healing to do something symbolic in remembrance. Plant a tree at a public park or a rose bush at your church, etc. Prepare your loved one's favorite dessert.
  • Begin a new tradition.
  • Buy a new ornament for the tree that symbolizes your new beginning.
  • Help others - do some volunteering at a shelter, food bank, thrift store, animal shelter, etc.
  • Stop by a local Angel Tree and buy something for someone less fortunate.
  • Accept your feelings of loss and sadness, but remember it is okay and healthy for you to make a decision to eventually move forward with your life.

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