holidays claire bidwell smith

Support with Grief During Holidays

holidays claire bidwell smith
The holidays can be a complicated time if you are grieving—or even if it’s been a long time since you’ve lost someone, but they were a significant person in your life. Today I want to share some options for support and resources that may be helpful to you this holiday season.

Support

NEW and limited time! A Safe Place to Grieve: Release Your Anxiety (Live 6-week guided experience + Online Course with lifetime access)—Starting January 7th, I’ll be guiding participants live through my online course step-by-step, tuning in to interact with you every week, plus giving special attention to how anxiety can manifest after loss and how to find peace and progress with this challenge. I use this approach every day with my grief therapy clients. You'll be able to gain access to these tools and support from anywhere at any time. If you are looking for extra support with your anxiety and grief this holiday season, starting this program is a powerful place to begin.

One-Time Personal Consultation—I'm offering one-time consultations at this time. I'm currently based in Los Angeles and have been working with clients from around the globe over the past ten years. This might help you process a particular aspect of your loss or trouble-shoot bigger picture issues. I provide tips, tools, resources, and overall symptom management strategies.

Resources

Coping with Grief During the Holidays—In this podcast episode, I share my own experience on coping with the holidays and offer you actionable tips to help you cope this holiday season.

64 Tips for Coping with Grief During the Holidays—This is a very helpful list of tips and suggestions for coping with grief during the holidays.

Holiday Survival Strategies for Coping with Grief—A wonderful article on specific strategies you can implement this holiday season to help you with your grief during this time.

Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief—In my latest book, I break down anxiety, giving readers a concrete foundation of understanding in order to help them heal the anxiety caused by loss.

10 Helpful Tips for Resilient Grieving—In this blog post, I explore resilient grieving, which is the idea that we can take active measures and steps to find strength and learn coping tools in the face of loss, even when the pain seems unbearable.

Honoring Holidays, Anniversaries, & Birthdays for Loved Ones—There are so many difficult dates after you lose someone you love. In this blog post, I offer my thoughts on how to honor your loved ones during the holidays and other significant days throughout the year.

I hope this list is helpful for you. If you have any suggestions you'd like to share, please add them to the comments below.

Wishing you peace this holiday season. Remember, you are not alone.

Love,

Claire


grief during the holidays claire bidwell smith

Coping with Grief During the Holidays

grief during the holidays claire bidwell smith
Today I want to talk about grief during the holidays. The holidays are upon us and it can be a loaded time if you are grieving—or even if it's been a long time since you've lost someone, but they were a significant person in your life. The holidays can bring up so much, like sadness and reflection and other big feelings.

I know this is a time of year when my clients want to talk about the holidays. The actual day is hard, but sometimes the whole season can be hard. Even just the anticipation of the holidays can bring on a certain feeling of anxiety and sadness. The holidays can also be very sweet, with lots of great memories associated. So this is a time when things can be confusing and big feelings can come up.

In my podcast episode below, I share my own experience on coping with the holidays and offer you actionable tips to help you cope this holiday season. In this podcast, I share:

  • My own recent experience with the holidays
  • How to be kind to yourself this holiday season
  • A list of things you can do to get through the holidays this year
  • And a way to honor your person during this holiday season

 


birthdays holidays anniversaries loved ones claire bidwell smith

Honoring Holidays, Anniversaries & Birthdays for Loved Ones


There are so many difficult dates after you lose someone you love. Holidays, anniversaries, birthdays - there seems to be one around every bend, and each one brings on its own set of emotions. In the twenty years since my parents died I've experienced a multitude of reactions to these dates and some years are more painful than others. I can never be quite sure which dates will hold big emotions for me, and which ones will float under the surface quietly. But what I do know is that it helps me to do something to honor my parents on the dates that hold intense feelings for me.

For my father's ten year death anniversary I took a private flight lesson in a tiny Cessna. My father had been a pilot in the war and flying was a great love of his. For me, piloting this little airplane over the coast of Los Angeles ten years after his death, helped me feel closer to him than I had in years. I knew he would have loved the way my heart pounded as we ascended into the clouds and that he would have been proud of all the strength and resilience I'd found in the years since he'd been gone.

And after my daughters were born I began a ritual of making a cake with them each year on my mother's birthday. We use my mom's old mixer and measuring cups and spoons, and as we bake I tell them stories about how I used to bake with her. The whole act invokes her presence, not just for me, but for my daughters who never knew her in real life. After we're done we even light candles and sing to her, and hearing my mother's name on the lips of my daughters' never fails to fill my heart.

There are so many ways to ritualize and honor our passed loved ones. When we find ways to do so it creates healing and a sense of connection that is otherwise missing. Cook something they loved or make a reservation at their favorite restaurant. Plant flowers or indulge in a hobby they enjoyed. Watch their old favorite movie, gather friends or family for a meal and to share memories, or simply light a candle by their photo and say hello. (Check out Allison Gilbert's book Passed and Present for even more ideas.)

Additionally, I offer a self-guided online grief program: A Safe Place to Grieve. The program is based on the process I use every day with my grief therapy clients. You are guided through six sections using my meditations and videos, workbook, journal, emails and more.

Our hearts yearn to stay connected to the people we have lost. Honor that yearning, honor your relationship, and honor the love that you will always have for them.

Love,
Claire