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Holiday Grief Tips
By MADD | November 28, 2012| 12 Comments | Filed in: Victim Services

For many people, this is a season of celebrations.  However, the holidays are often a difficult time for those of us who are bereaved and coping with loss.  Many bereaved and injured people face this season with apprehension often in fear of their emotional reactions to what are supposed to be happy, memorable events. 

A common question asked by those mourning a loved one or struggling to make sense of other losses is, “How can I get through the holidays?”  There is no single answer of what we should or should not do, but it is important that we consider what activities are comfortable for us to participate in during the holidays.

Here are some suggestions for people experiencing bereavement and/or injury for coping during the holidays:

  • Plan ahead for the approaching holidays.  Accept that this might be a difficult time for you.  The additional stress this season brings may impact you emotionally, physically and spiritually.  These are normal reactions.  Be prepared for rushes of emotions that may occur.
  • Recognize that the holidays might not be the same as they were in the past.  Expecting everything to seem the same might lead to disappointment.  Modify or make new traditions if it feels right. Just remember to include others who are grieving, especially children, in decisions.
  • Don’t overwhelm or over commit yourself. Give yourself a reprieve. Take time for yourself and take care of yourself. Take it slow and easy, one step at a time.
  • Be careful not to isolate yourself. It is all right to take time for yourself, but try not to cut yourself off from the support of family and friends.
  • The holidays may affect other family members. Talk to others as you make plans and share your feelings. Respect other’s choices and needs, and compromise if necessary.
  • Expect to experience some feelings of emotional pain. When the feelings come, let them.
  • Accept a few invitations to be with close family or friends. Choose the ones that sound most appealing at the time and decline the ones that feel more like an obligation.
  • Talk about your feelings. Let people know if you are having a tough day.
  • Share your favorite stories with others and make a toast or light a candle in honor and remembrance.

When everyone else appears so happy and cheerful, it is easy to feel alone.  You may feel out of sorts with the holiday season.  Recognizing that the holidays can be painful often helps ease that sense of isolation. If you need any additional assistance, please call 1-877-MADD-HELP (877-623-3435).  MADD is just one call away.



Submitted by Bubbleeyes at 02:57 PM on December 24, 2012
It has been 4 Christmases since Lindsey (my granddaughter) was with us. A drunk driver took her life on June 12th, 2009! She was my only grandchild at the time, she was her mom's only child! Such loss for no reason is unimaginable for all of us! Lindsey has two new cousins that she never had the opportunity to hold and love! I miss her greatly but hopefully we will reunited soon when the Lord calls us home! Merry Christmas, Linny! I know you are having just the best time but remember we miss you and love you so much!!
Submitted by JoeColorado at 10:34 AM on December 24, 2012
Share some tips on help someone who is grieving as well. After I lost my father to an auto accident (which may have been alcohol-related-the accident was never investigated from what I heard), my mother's friend ordered me to "WALK THE DOG!" Needless to say, I regret not having punched my mother's friend in the face
Submitted by granny at 02:02 PM on December 8, 2012
This will be our second Christmas without our daughter-in-law, Alyssa and Sweet Baby Grandson, Tucker. I miss them so much. The man who killed them has still not gone to trial. My heart has a hole in it that will never mend. I miss them both so much. I hope to see them again one day in Heaven.
Submitted by Brenda at 05:00 PM on November 28, 2012
February 27, 2008, my cousin Rebecca was killed in a accident involving DUI. In this circumstance Rebecca was the one driving under the influence. Nobody else was killed, but the truck driver she hit head on was injured. I thank god everyday that nobody else was killed as a result of my cousin drinking and driving. This has changed our lives forever and the lives of others. Please don't drink and drive.
Submitted by Seans mom at 02:28 PM on September 24, 2012
My son was 18. He had just got off work and wanted to go see the Christmas lights downtown Ft.Worth with his co-workers. He never made it. A drunk woman ran a stop sign. Be was thrown from the vehicle and killed instantly on December 14, 2011. Sean Satterfield was my middle child. Hopefully the trial will be in December to prosecute the woman who took his life. I miss my son so much!!!
Submitted by Gigi at 05:02 AM on December 30, 2011
As the New Year awaits us, our future unknown and our past never behind us, here is something to think about. 21 years ago, my family and I lost a loving young man, Noel Hernandez. Noel was my sister’s brother in-law and God’s most precious gift to those who knew him. Noel was a young man full of life, love, and always put others before him. As he walked across the street one day, just to get a pack of cigarettes, he was hit by a drunk driver, not once but twice with a friend that followed behind. Noel was just 23; his birthday was in January. The man who ran Noel over never faced prison time; it was as if nothing happened. As if the victim had no family or nothing, he was treated like an animal that we see on the side of the roads. Well, Noel had family that loved him dearly and he his fateful end left his mother with a broken heart. Noel’s mother passed shortly after his death, he was her baby boy, the youngest of five. To this present day, we mourn Noel Hernandez. We see his smile in my sister’s kids but mostly my niece Michelle. My sister was just eight months pregnant for her when Noel was killed. My niece has so much resemblance of Noel, from her eyes to her birth mark, and like I said her smile. My niece was ripped from the opportunity to have ever been held and loved by her uncle just because of a careless and irresponsible drunk driver. Noel is long past and is no longer suffering but he will always be missed by all those that love him. We will always have a void in our hearts. Noel is always on our thoughts but we are hit with a constant reminder every New Year, every January of his passing because of a careless man who took him from us. After this tragic incident, we were left with a lot of questions and viewed life on a whole other scale. So please in Honor and Respect for the thousands of victims that were killed by drunk drivers, don’t drink and drive. Surrender your keys to a designated driver, or call a cab, a friend, or a family member, or just walk. Think about this, you can save many by not drinking and driving. Thank you for taking the time to read this I know that it has been 21 years ago but we, the family, are still missing Noel. Surrender your keys or your license. . Like · · Share · 2 hours ago. Smada Tap likes this..
Submitted by raven at 11:48 AM on December 21, 2011
My 1st and only son will be missed this Christmas as and always..He was killed by a drunk driver in his own yard..His wife died 4 months before him and he was lelt with3 kids..10,9,7, my grand kids were lelt w/o BOTH parents.My son was a wonderful man and father and the best Son a mother could ever have..i am soooo proud of him..But a drunk took away MY BEST Friend and 1/2 my heart with him when he lelt us.I still have a daughter and she has 5 kids I HAVE ONLY 1/2 A HEART WHICH IS for her. Please say a prayer foe us. He was only 31 yrs..JR my son I LOVE U SOO MUCH..I'LL be seeing u again 1 day..Love Moma
Submitted by wolffe at 10:36 AM on December 21, 2011
It has been a tough couple of weeks for my children(21,16 & 12. This Christmas Eve at 9pm. It will be one year since their father was killed. We are taking things slow and lighter this year. Thank you for the tips.
Submitted by Emily at 09:29 AM on December 15, 2011
Christmas is looming and my grief level is rising! This will be the first Christmas without my brother. It won't be the same without him grumbling about my step-mom blasting Christmas music and my sister and I are really going to miss him on our ski trip:-(
Submitted by Ann at 12:19 PM on December 9, 2011
It's going to be so hard this Christmas without my daughter-in-law Alyssa and baby grandson Tucker. Alyssa loved Christmas and started playing Christmas music in July. Our baby would be 21 months. I can just see those chubby little hand taking the ornaments off the tree. I can hardly stand to think of any day without them, especially holiday.
Submitted by My son's mom forever at 05:06 PM on December 8, 2011
Close your eyes. Remember when. Smile.
Submitted by Christmas SnowChill at 01:50 PM on December 8, 2011
Thank you for the Holiday Grief Tips!

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