Making Space for Grief at the Holiday Table

Please check on your friends. They may need your support as they navigate planning for holidays with one less loved one at their celebrations.

Four years ago at Christmas, I lost my beloved dad. Every December, it was tradition for us all to gather in my home, where my three children sat on the sofa next to their grandpa, who regaled them with stories about his latest finds at classic car auctions and caring for the menagerie of animals on his farm. His soft Oklahoma twang filled the room with love and humor.

In two days, I will speak on a work panel with fellow colleagues about caring for our mental health at the holidays. One of those ways to care for ourselves is to acknowledge grief and the realization that someone we love will not be joining us for a holiday celebration and how we miss them so.

This is an essay about making room at the table for our friends who are grieving. I hope you take time to read it and that it helps you in some way: Making Space for a Grieving Friend.

Pictured is my dad at the holidays a year or two before his last Christmas with us.

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6 thoughts on “Making Space for Grief at the Holiday Table

  1. Thank you Shanna. I just lost a dear friend yesterday morning.  It was sudden.  Merry Christmas to you and your family, and a most prosperous New Year.  

    Sent from my iPhoneJoe B. King

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  2. Lovely essay and thanks for sharing. I lost my dad 4 years ago too. My blended family did not grieve as I did. Regardless, a loss is a loss. God Bless you and your family

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