Funeral Home Responses to Grief & Loss During the Holiday Season

Posted December 25, 2019

4 min read

Holidays bring all kinds of emotions, and you know that firsthand.

With the end-of-the-year holidays upon us, more than ever we’re reminded of how so many of our families are responding to or dealing with loss or grief. Here are reminders and tips on how to help families cope with grief—during the holidays, but also throughout the year.

Every person responds and copes in their own way

The journey that happens after loss is emotional, relational, and spiritual. At any give time, someone may be in a different point in their own journey.

As a result, the needs of each and every person differ, and can change regularly, as many directors know. Don’t forget to treat each person uniquely and to hear exactly what it is they may have to share during that time.

Give people the opportunity to share

Borek Jennings Funeral Homes reminds us that families can promote their own healing by sharing with others.

Often, but not always, this “stage” happens after someone hears the news of a death of a loved one. “Sharing is to healing, like oxygen is to the body…life sustaining and affirming. We often share the news with those we care about to feel secure,” explains Borek Jennings Funeral Home.

Borek Jennings explains that sharing in this way is one of the ways people are able to build their own emotional support team. It is how people cope with the emotional side of grief, and therefore it’s important to empower people to do just that.

Whether it’s a conversation or another method, give people an opportunity to share about their loved one. “While sharing, we are reminded that while something significant has changed in our lives, not everything has changed, and we will not face our loss and grief alone,” explains Borek Jennings.

Recognize the power of connecting with others

Some people may respond to grief by seeking time to themselves or by avoiding holiday parties entirely. When it’s possible for you to do so, encourage family members dealing with grief to also connect and spend time with others, as difficult as that may seem to them.

Doing so, as Borek Jennings points out, is a powerful way to build hope and to remind someone that life can and will go on. “People want to let you know that they share your loss and need direction from you on how to do this… Love spoken in a hug… a connection that nurtures hope and healing.”

…But also how people may want to be alone

As much as you may encourage a family member to continue any “normal” customs or traditions they have at this time of year with others, you also know the value in empowering someone to take time for themselves.

Time for reflection is critically important for anyone coping with grief, and around the holidays this is no different. If you are in the position to do so, be sure to remind family members that they shouldn’t let guilt creep in when they do take (extra) time for themselves.

Taking time to pause and reflect on their loved one and their own life is productive and healthy as they heal.

Grief doesn’t just come with the first holiday season

Funeral directors certainly know that emotions and feelings of grief doesn’t just go away after one year or one holiday season. Even with the ebb and flow of dealing with loss, grief can, and often will, continue to shape and impact people for years to come. That means every holiday season can be difficult for people to cope in a meaningful and healthy way.

When appropriate and you are in the position to do so, remind people of this and empower them to embrace whatever emotions it is they may be having.

Continue to be there for their immediate needs

It’s true that many who are dealing with grief don’t ask for help, even though we do want to help them and support them as best we can.

But at the end of the day, one of the best things you can do is what you’re already doing: be there for families whenever they need you. Besides being their for support in others ways, continue to provide support resources on your website and on-site, within your funeral home, for those who are seeking them. You never know if that may be one of their strongest sources of comfort in the months or years to come.

Wishing You a Happy Holiday Season

From all of us at CRäKN, we want to wish you a joyous holiday season! May you have a happy holiday season and health and happiness throughout the coming year.

To learn more about CRäKN, contact us here today.

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