- sudden death, or conversely,
- when you know it’s coming,
- losing a child or grandchild,
- if your family disappoints you,
- grieving for strangers,
- and beloved pets, among others.
Grieving Shouldn’t Happen During the Holidays, Right?
No, that’s not right. In fact, many people feel their losses more sharply during the holiday season.
After all, we’re bombarded with social media pics of perfect family gatherings where no one is sick or missing, and movies showing wealthy, beautiful people with silly problems that are always solved within two hours.
But real life isn’t like that. In real life, we lose people and homes and jobs and health and pets. We lose things we love all the time. It’s part of being alive and human.
And our grief doesn’t stop just because some holiday movie or IG account or canned Christmas music in a store tells us to buck up, be HappyHappyHappy, and get over it.
Your grief can have a life of its own, meaning it needs to run its course. And one of the best things you can do to help it along is to feel it. To let it be so. Giving yourself permission to feel your grief is a great gift to yourself.
If your grief goes on too too long, if it doesn’t seem to be getting any better, you may be struggling with complicated grief. Please reach out to a psychotherapist who’s trained in these matters.
What Can Help You With Grieving & the Holidays
Honestly, there’s a lot you can do to help yourself if you’re grieving during the holidays.
As Kim Brown writes in her book Navigating Grief and Loss, the practices she shares are
tools that will help you welcome all that’s in your heart — the painful, the delightful, the ugly, the beautiful — so you can become what you already are: a dear and loving friend to yourself.
They’re designed to help you to experience all of your feelings, even the most painful.
It’s so important to allow yourself to feel all of what you’re feeling, no matter what it is. Your emotions are part of who you are. And you’re grieving because you’ve loved someone or something enough to feel those emotions.
There’s nothing wrong with anything you’re feeling. It’s what you do about it, how you’re acting out those feelings, that can make things worse.
Start with simply telling the truth to yourself about how you’re feeling. And then, if you feel emotionally safe to do so, you can also share with someone else.
Your Most Valuable Possessions
One of the last chapters in Kim Brown’s book is called “Letting Life Unfold — Going Forward.” In this chapter, she shares a beautiful teaching.
[This is] an old sutta—a teaching directly from the historic Buddha—that explains that whatever is saved from a fire is useful and whatever is left behind is destroyed and has no value. It’s a parable to encourage us to give away our most valuable possessions—our love, compassion, wisdom, generosity, patience, and joy. Since they’re of no use to anyone when we’re dead, we should give them away to benefit ourselves and all beings while we’re alive.
Your most valuable possessions are your love, compassion, wisdom, generosity, patience, and joy. You can share those with loved ones, or with strangers as a volunteer in a soup kitchen, for instance.
Sharing your most valuable possessions will help you move through your loss. It can help you feel more compassionate, both for yourself and others. Sharing your wisdom can benefit your family, friends, and community. Being patient — sometimes so hard! — can be a beautiful practice of living your life right now, as it’s happening, rather than remembering the past or worrying about the future.
In that same chapter, Kim writes
If you’re going through a loss right now, although you might wish with all of your might that it hadn’t happened the way it did, the reality is that it did happen. Now you have a choice: you can allow this loss to harden you and close your heart, or you can connect with your grief and sorrow and let it help you meet the unfolding of life with greater kindness and openness for yourself and for all those you encounter. Although it’s true you’ll ever be the same again, it doesn’t mean that you’ll never feel happy, whole, or hopeful. … .
Counseling for Grieving & the Holidays in Santa Fe, NM
Sadness and loss are part of being alive. And grieving our losses is part of what it means to live a rich, full life. If you’re stuck in the past and can’t seem to move forward on your own, living with ambiguous loss, or having a hard time keeping your heart open… please reach out to schedule a free, 15-minute phone consultation: melanie@
I’m Melanie, the Santa Fe Therapist. My compassionate, creative approach to grief counseling in Santa Fe NM weaves together my ability to hear below the surface of the words, advanced degrees, years of specialized training, professional experience, and personal experiences healing from loss.
Clients usually work with me once a week for 8-12 months. As we work together, you’ll process your sadness and loss in an emotionally safe space, and begin learning how to step into the world again, on your terms.
Please know that I welcome ongoing conversations about making therapy the best experience it can be for you.
The Santa Fe Therapist Offers Online Counseling in Santa Fe, NM
Online therapy helps women who are struggling with grief and loss find the time away from day-to-day pressures to calm their nervous systems. It also makes it easy and convenient to process emotions and learn new neuroscience techniques cope with challenges, heal the past, and begin building your future.
I strongly believe in the power of online counseling. Along with the research that proves its effectiveness, I see the positive benefits for clients every week. Click here if you’ve got questions about online therapy.
Online counseling from anywhere in New Mexico, including Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos, Los Alamos, Pecos, Las Vegas, Tesuque and El Dorado.
How to Get Grief Counseling in Santa Fe NM
You don’t have to suffer alone anymore. Please, send me an email, and let’s schedule a free, 15-minute phone consultation: melanie@
Other Services From The Santa Fe Therapist
The Santa Fe Therapist specializes in several areas of health, wellbeing, healing and recovery. I know that one size never fits all. My services are individualized to each client, and are based on your values, your needs and desires, and your goals.
I offer individual adult counseling and guidance in Santa Fe NM for: