Finding Joy in Grief During the Holidays

The holidays are tough for many grieving families. What was once a joyous occasion filled with lights, gifts and shared memories may feel different after a family member or pet passes on. Individuals may experience heightened grief during the holidays and struggle to enjoy themselves as they once did. However, the Let Your Love Grow team believes that grief may coexist with the joys of the holiday season — you may even be able to use your feelings to foster new life through a memorial plant or new holiday traditions. 

Understanding Grief During the Holidays 

The holiday season is often the one time a year when extended family members gather together in celebration. Though time may have passed since your loss, gathering together may heighten feelings of loneliness, loss and sadness in their absence. 

When experiencing grief personally, your brain activates the areas responsible for emotion and stress. As a result, grieving individuals may struggle to eat, sleep or concentrate this holiday season. If you are experiencing grief yourself, remember that it’s a universal feeling with no set timeline or rules. The best thing to do is to let feelings be your guide as you decide what the holiday season will entail for you. 

When looking from the outside in, it may be hard to dissect someone else's emotions. You must keep in mind that every individual handles the grieving process differently. Some may want to reminisce, while others may avoid the subject of loss altogether. If you aim to understand grief during the holidays, you may want to focus on what you know about the affected individual. Consider their relationship with the deceased and how loss may have changed their life. Take time to learn their boundaries around the subject and, most importantly, be supportive. 

Finding the Gift of New Life

After a loved one passes, families may not know what to do with their ashes. Some elect for an urn and place their parent, grandparent, child, sibling or pet on a shelf. The presence of the ashes may be comforting for some people, giving them the feeling as though their loved one is still present in their lives. Others decide on spreading ashes at a favorite location, allowing their loved one to return back to nature. 

However, there is always an opportunity for a new life after someone has passed. Some families use the Let Your Love Grow blended soil mixture as an environmentally-friendly burial alternative. The blended soil mixture neutralizes harmful chemicals and transforms ashes into a rich foundation for a memorial plant. 

For those processing grief during the holidays, the gift of a plant alongside the LYLG blended soil mixture provides a touching way to safely return the departed to nature and continue the circle of life. Memorial plants may offer a healing outlet that spreading ashes may not — you may redirect the love you still carry for a person or pet by actively tending to a plant. Whether you choose a flower or tree, caring for a memorial plant may become a cathartic part of your daily routine.

Sparking Joy Despite Grief 

Grief is a complicated emotion — while you are grateful for your memories, it hurts to process the fact that there will be no new moments shared with your loved one. The holiday season brings mixed emotions, but it also offers a chance to remember the value someone added to your life and the lessons you learned from them. As you gather with your family and friends, you have the opportunity to spark joy by preserving your loved one’s presence during your holiday festivities. 

You may look at pictures, cook your favorite foods and pursue activities that encourage connections with your loved ones. Moving forward, it will always be important to find ways to incorporate your loved one's memory and counteract grief during the holidays. This year, consider a memorial plant as a gift for your family members — explore Let Your Love Grow's options for people and pets to commemorate their life this holiday season.

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