The December Chronicle


Grief and the Holidays

As we wander through the wintry world of loss, we doubt we will survive the month of December. New grief makes us fragile and we are never more fragile, or human, than in the last few frantic days before Christmas. The need to be happy bears down. The pathos of the season overwhelms us. For grievers left with only their memories, Christmas is a time of loneliness and isolation.

One way to survive the pathos of the season is to write a holiday letter to the dear one who has died, or keep a holiday journal. Writing can help you safely express all the complex emotions you have surrounding the season and the absence of your loved one.

Here are a few ideas to get you started. Choose one or two to begin, but your own words always work best:

When I think of Christmas with you, I most remember...

When I think of Christmas without you, I feel...

My favorite Christmas with you was...

My least favorite Christmas was...

The best gift you ever gave me was...

I wish you were here to help me with...

It really bothers me when people...

I am grateful for...

I am not grateful for...

My biggest regret is...

I am so glad that I...

Things I don't miss this Christmas are...

What I miss the most about you is...

I will love you forever because...

You can write the holiday letter or journal any time, but you may want to make a ceremony out of it by writing it on Christmas Eve and burning it in your fireplace, or in a fireproof container, on New Year's Day. Or, perhaps you will want to read it at the graveside and keep it forever.

Advent is a season of longing and longing is a notable part of grief. If your holiday memories are painful because of your loved one’s negative behavior, take a moment to imagine how it could have been different. What would you like to have happened?

Write your perfect Christmas Day on paper. Read it out loud. What will you say to your deceased loved one? Imagine what he or she will say in return. This will not change the past, but it may help you heal hurts and misunderstandings from the past so that you can create a better future.

To paraphrase Shakespeare, the grief that does not speak will break your heart. Grief is deeply personal and your heart will let you know what you need to write in order to grieve. The word inspiration comes from the Latin word inspirare meaning into breath or in spirit. Stay open to inspiration as you give sorrow words.

Go to next page, The Red Diary: Giving Voice to Your Anger

April 2019


Why can’t I find a page or link that used to be here?

Over the last eleven years, The Grieving Heart® meandered into many topics and lost its purpose. I have deleted 40 pages to bring it back to the original focus of grief and helping grievers.

Web addresses come and go and I cannot guarantee the accuracy, safety or longevity of third-party (external) sites. Adding links by request, or finding and fixing broken links are massive time consumers, so I have deleted many outside sources and will limit additions in the future. The external links that remain are checked on a regular basis and related to grief, helping grievers and pet loss. 

I will continue to honor and remember veterans and fallen soldiers because it is the least I can do for those who have given so much.

I hope that my renewed attention to grief information will make The Grieving Heart® a better experience and comfort for you. Thank you for visiting. CJ



 My E-mail:

Christine at The Grieving Heart dot info 

A Word About E-mail: One way to decrease SPAM caused by Internet bots is to deactivate the live address link. You can still contact me by typing this address into your own e-mail program using @, a period, and no spaces, the standard e-mail format. Thank you.

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I read and respond to grief email at the end of each month when I update this site. If you need a more timely response, please visit a well moderated grief healing discussion group. It is free to use and requires registration to participate. I am not part of this group, but certified grief counselors are there to help, support and comfort grievers and those who love them. Because the counselors lost funding for the site, they are grateful for voluntary donations.
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How complicated and individual mending is,
the time required for healing
cannot be measured against any fixed calendar
Mary Jane Moffat
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