Holiday Grief and Loneliness

By Dr. Awa Jangha

We are all in the midst of the holiday season. There are people who are not happy during this time of year and It is okay not to feel happy and full of cheer. There are many reasons people feel down during the holidays. It can range from losing a loved one to a traumatic event that may have happened in their lifetime.

I had the chance to virtually speak with Dr. Jangha to discuss how people can handle grief and loneliness during the holiday season. It is important for our community to reach out to people in our neighborhood, work, just to make sure they are okay.

These are some suggestions that may help you or someone get through this holiday season

  • giving each other grace as everyone grieves differently
  • sometimes creating a new tradition on the holidays can be a meaningful and collaborative way of acknowledging the loss 
  • recognize that grief is a process and the time people need to grieve will vary… there may also be surprise triggers that bring the loss back to mind (i.e. seeing someone that looks like your loved one, or wears their cologne, or hearing their favorite song, etc.)
  • the holidays themselves can be difficult may not be experienced as joyous for everyone, which is often the expectation during this season
  • grief can bring up multiple losses that span beyond the death of a loved one (i.e. loss of a future with that persons, specific expectations, income/security, etc.)
  • experiencing the holidays alone can also be a new experience… if you have people to reach out to, this may be a good time to access your support system (i.e. family, friends, therapy, faith, etc.)
  • knowing what to say to a person who has experienced loss may be tricky and often being present with them is more important than having the ‘right’ words
  • during this season, it is important to take care of yourself and have persons/things that add to your wellness

Awa Jangha, PhD, LPC-S, ATR-BCArt and Spirit Counseling


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