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Coping with the Holidays After a Loss

The holiday season can be challenging for survivors who have experienced a major lost such as the loss of a loved one and having the holiday blues. This section provides resources to understand and with the Holiday Blues whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.
Articles & Resources
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How to Handle the Holiday Blues
Several years ago watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special, for the umpteenth time, I realized that his mood may have been something more. Charlie Brown could be experiencing a case of the holiday blues, grief following the death of a loved one, depression or seasonal affect disorder, or be stressed about the season. This article explores some of the possible responses to having a Charlie Brown Christmas.
Types of Loss Experienced in a Lifetime
There are numerous types of losses that a person may experience during a lifetime. There are many losses that occur during the dying and the grieving or bereavement processes. This article explores the many different types of losses.
Normal Grief Response
Grief is the normal response to loss. A grieving person may experience many dimensions of a normal grief response--physical, behavioral, emotional, social and spiritual. This article looks at the normal response to grief.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs in relation to the seasons, most commonly beginning in winter. This review from the ADAM's Illustrated Health Encyclopedia looks at the overview, symptoms, treatment and prevention of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Symptoms of Grief
This article explores many of the common reactions to a grief response which can include physical, emotional, behavioral or psychological, social and even spiritual changes. This page is part of the more extensive article on the Normal Response to Grief.
Potential of Complicated Grief: Depression
Depression is one of the potential consequences of a grief response. It must also be distinguished from normal grief. This 11 part in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of depression is one of the ADAMís In Depth Reports.
Remembering Those Who Have Died
There are many ways to remember a loved one at Christmas or during the holiday season. This list includes some of the best suggestions and recommendations, in no particular order.
How to Remember a Loved One at the Holidays
Holidays can be difficult times for those who have lost a loved one, especially if it is the first holiday season. Finding ways of remembering the loved one as still being a part of the holiday can be helpful for family and friends. This article provides suggestions for remembering a loved one who has died as well as some insights into coping with the loss of a loved one at the holidays.
Light a Candle to Remember - Light a Candle in Memory of...
Lighting a candle is a sacred ritual in many different traditions and religions. For centuries people around the world have burned candles in remembrance of loved ones who have died, as a way of healing the past and bringing hope for the future. This article provides a link to the online candle lighting page has been set up for the Death, Dying and Bereavement site.
The Kindness Project - A Way of Remembering a Loved One
The Kindness Project is a way of remembering a loved one and creating a legacy of love in memory of someone who has died. A loved one is remembered by a random act of kindness in memory of the person who has died, as a way of letting others know that this person's life continues to matter.
The Empty Chair Around The Holiday Table
Rabbi Mel Glazer has written this informative article on Grief at the Holidays offering a unique way to remember a loved one and cope with the loss of a loved one during the holiday season. In this article, reprinted with his permission, Rabbi Glazer presents several suggestions for ways of keeping the memory of a loved one alive during the holidays.
Kwanzaa- A Celebration of Family, Community and Culture
A look at Kwanzaa Traditions from About's Guide to African-American History, Jessica McElrath. Kwanzaa was created as a way to restore the connection to the African culture, to reinforce and celebrate family, community, and culture.
Loss, Grief and Bereavement (PDQ ®) - Online Version
The NCI (National Cancer Institute) has an informative section Loss, Grief and Bereavement as part of their comprehensive cancer information database. This 13 page online resource describes loss, grief and bereavement, the stages of grief and methods for coping with grief. Also included are sections on children, complicated grief and cultural issues relating to grief.
Loss, Grief and Bereavement (PDQ ®) - Printable Version
The NCI's (National Cancer Institute) Loss, Grief and Bereavement printable version. This extensive online resource describes loss, grief and bereavement, the stages of grief and methods for coping with grief. Also included are sections on children, complicated grief and cultural issues relating to grief.

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