Acknowledge Our Loss at Christmas

Though it’s easier to talk about almost anything than the dead, the dead are what mourners most need to talk about – especially jurying this festive season. Therefore please do not shy away from sharing your memories.

Don’t try to get through the holidays by behaving as if nothing has happened. Instead acknowledge the loss, the grief and the missing space at the table. If somebody is not at the table who was there last year, it is a wonderful time for everyone to take a moment to talk about their memories and recall what they miss and what they loved about that person.

Everyone is already thinking about that person so it’s better to just speak our feelings out loud.

Pretending that everything is fine when everything isn’t just adds to our stress. The only way to survive the holiday season after the death of a loved one is to make time for memories. Say their names out loud, tell and retell the same old stories, tales of love, laughter, what was most memorable and what we miss the most.

Stories are the fabric that weaves our families together. Life does go on, but let’s take a portion of the past with us, honor it so we can pass it along to the next generation. Sometimes we cry, sometimes we laugh – both are gifts of healing.

“Acknowledge Our Loss” is from page 3 of my “Survivors Guide for Holidays and Special Occasions”. It’s available on this site under the “Products” page.  Holidays and Special Occasions

8 Responses

  1. Barbara
    | Reply

    I am going through my first holiday season without my beloved husband of 56 years. Morgan died in March of this year. He fought prostate cancer for 17 years. I know he is in a far better place and is not suffering from pain anymore. But I miss him so very much. I was 18 when we got married. We have three children and the try to help. I usually love this time of the year, but not this year.

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Dear Barbara – I’m sorry for your loss and please understand that it’s perfectly normal not to love the holidays when your still grieving. After 10 years I still find the holidays hard as they are a constant reminder that I’m without Donnie at this festive time of the year. I found it easier to visit others and socialize in their homes instead of having them come to my house. That way I could come and go when I was ready and it wasn’t as hard as hosting by myself. Over the years it has gotten easier for me, but my heart had to heal first. Take care, Mary Francis

  2. Mary
    | Reply

    Thank you for another very helpful blog post. This is my first holiday time without my wonderful hubby of 52 years. Your suggestion to tell favorite memories is great. My heart wants to remember so many wonderful things and I can’t wait to be able to laugh about many of them. I recently attended a family wedding. That was yet another painful milestone to do alone. My sweetest moments at the wedding reception was when a fellow employee of my hubby began visiting with me about memories of my husband. They both loved cars and we laughed and cried about clunkers and jewels they both had purchased and also the ones that got away. It was a breath of fresh air to relive that portion of my hubs life.

  3. Augusta
    | Reply


    I too loss my husband this year in January, therefore, your pain and grief is felt.

    Even though it is difficult for us, I am convinced that our love and memory of our husbands will get us through.

    We can do this!


  4. Daisy
    | Reply

    I just lost my husband of 25 years. Our marriage wasn’t perfect but very real. We both felt we were lucky to have made it thru so many hard times we suffered together. First my cancer and then his. Never in a million years would I have imagined lossing him to pancreatic cancer. He was strong and we had a beautiful year together. He passed on December 31 2017. I miss him so much I can’t stand it. I stay strong for my sons but I’m feeling lost. I have to learn to live by myself and I’m 52 and have never been without a partner or parent. When I lost my parents I struggled but believed at least I had Steve and now he’s also gone. I pray GOD gives me the strength to learn to live again.

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      Hi Daisy. I lost my husband when I was fifty so I can relate to your pain. I remember thinking that I was robbed because we never got to enjoy our retirement years. Your heart is broken and it’s hard to believe but it will heal. Let grief have it’s time,but never stop talking about your feelings and memories because that is an important part of your healing. Follow along with the blog and also past postings as they are supportive and encouraging. Take care, Mary Francis

  5. Sheila
    | Reply

    I lost my husband last month and I am in so much pain. Devastating and difficult to function.

    • Mary Francis
      | Reply

      I’m sorry Sheila for the loss of your husband. It’s hard to understand why it happens and how we will ever start living again – that’s why it’s so important to learn all you can and to stay connected. Read the blog postings and check out all the resources on the website. Hold on tight to friends and family as they are your life line as you grieve. Take care, Mary Francis

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