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Grief & Loss During the Holidays

Getting through the holidays once a key family member has made their transition is one of the hardest things we humans will ever have to do. Can you imagine getting through a Thanksgiving dinner without your mother who used to set it out with a delicious meal every year? Missing all of the love she put into her food and arguing with your siblings about who will host dinner from now on and who makes the best collard greens and mashed potatoes.

What about Christmas morning if you have lost a child? Not only will opening presents never be the same, but life will never be the same. How would a widow get through New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day if you just buried your spouse? This is the case for all holidays–it doesn’t matter if its Hannukkah, Eid, or Chinese New Year–in most cultures the holidays are about family. If your family is not in tact, it can mean a desperate and lonely time for you and the other family members left behind.

If you are grieving a loved one during the holidays you are not alone. Reach out to someone else who might be grieving as well and offer to be a support system for each other. Sometimes just having someone to talk to can really take a load off. Negative emotional energy is released from your energy body when you talk through your pain–don’t hold it all in–you do yourself a disservice and give those negative emotions an opportunity to manifest as mental and physical disease.

I recommend joining a grief group to help you through the holidays. Check in with your insurance provider to find a counselor who can refer you to a group. Here is a wonderful organization that organizes grief groups, walk-in counseling services and crisis counseling via text. Check out their website and find a local branch near you.

National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI)

Spiritual Solutions

If you are not experiencing the symptoms of acute grief and loss (clinical depression, suicidal ideation, etc.) and are simply feeling sad and lonely due to missing a family member, there are ways that you can potentially reach out to them and/or honor them spiritually.

In many cultures, including my own, we consider our family members who have transitioned as our “spiritual ancestors.” In most indigenous traditions we believe that our ancestors are living peacefully on the other side and they watch over those of us who are still in our physical bodies. Some of them even take on a role as a spiritual guide and spend quite a bit of time with us in the other dimensions.

Most relatives, however, are not our official guides. They are living on the other side (other dimension) and living quite full lives. They “pop in” to the lower earth planes to look in on us from time to time. But you don’t have to wait for them to visit, you can call them. Please understand that your family members can receive your messages. They are beyond earth-based language, but they can understand everything you are thinking and feeling because thoughts and emotions are energy and they can receive and “read” your energy.

Communicating with Ancestors

  1. Go to a Spiritual Medium. I recommend doing this one time, or periodically with a lot of time between visits. Once a year would be a good idea. Keep in mind that your friend or relative has their own life on the other side, and depending on where they are, they might have to expend quite a bit of energy to come down to Earth’s 4th dimension to speak with a Medium. Also, it’s important for you to move on with your life and going to mediums too often is not to your benefit. It can also get expensive as well.
  2. Create an Ancestor Altar. Create a space in your home where you can honor your ancestors and the Deities that you worship. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that can tell you how to construct a proper altar. In the meantime, keep it simple. Find a place in a clean space that is not viewed often by guests. Put a picture of your relative and a candle. You can place some things that your relative liked, like items with their favorite colors in them, or items that they gave you. You can also place offerings like food, or drink if you like. Burn incense or smudge the area periodically. When you are missing your relative, go in front of your altar, light your candle and call out to them. Ask for spiritual protection before doing this–this is important! Speak to your ancestor as if they were with you, because they really are! Write them a letter if you like, and keep it on the altar.
  3. Honor Your Relative at Your Holiday Celebration. You can set a place setting for your relative at your holiday dinner celebration. When you bless your food, invite your relative to join you. Allow everyone to say something nice about the relative, and tell stories. This will make your relative feel so special and loved, and you will feel their presence. Don’t be surprised if you smell their cologne, hear them laughing in your ear, or dream about them later that night.

The Best Way to Honor Someone Who Has Passed On

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for a friend or relative who has made their transition is to move on with your life. There is life after loss, and your beloved relatives want you to be happy. They do not want you to be saddled and burdened with grief. Sometimes spirits can stay stuck on the earth plane out of worry for family members who are not coping well with their deaths. If it has been more than one year since your relative or friend’s passing and you are still unable to function, it’s time to get some help.

Tradition counseling is a great way to go, as is joining a grief group. Remember though, that grief is an energy–and all energy can be transformed. An experienced energy healer can help transmute some of your grief into higher vibration emotions, and this can give you some relief. With less negative emotions weighing down your energy field, it will give you a fighting chance to work through them. That is why energy healing is a great addition to counseling or therapy.

Wild Purple Energy’s Emotional Clearing product line is ideal for support with grief. Check out the blog post on How to Use the Emotional Clearing Product Line.

Another good option are Bach Flower Essences–I often recommend them to my clients and they work very well. Check out their website below. Read the descriptions of each essence to decide what you need, but I usually recommend Star of Bethlehem or the Rescue Remedy. You can find some Essences at local retailers like Whole Foods or your local grocery cooperative. Otherwise, you can go to their website and order online.

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