When the Holidays Are Hard


The Holiday season is in full swing, and I’m having mixed feelings.  Part of me is excited, like I usually am this time of year.  But a larger part of me is a little resistant to the coming of this big season.

This is my first Holiday season since our deep loss.  This time last year we were expecting our second child, and I had great visions of what this Christmas would look like with two little ones.  But in May, our second son died, and now we have to learn how to celebrate this special time of year while our hearts are still broken.

I don’t know what that’s going to look like, and it, like everything else this year, is going to be a new step in this journey of grief.  We will walk it out as best as we can and learn from the mistakes that we make along the way.

grief and the holidays

This time of year that can be so full of joy, excitement, and brightness, can also feel quite opposite for those suffering from loss.  Seeing others with their loved ones who we miss can bring on hard feelings.  Times that are meant for families and togetherness can feel that much harder when you don’t have your complete family.  Shopping for one fewer person, letting go of past dreams, an empty chair at the table, missing someone to snuggle up with, watching sparkling lights flicker reminding us of what we do have but also what we don’t have.  No matter the loss – the death of a loved one, a broken relationship, a lost job – know that it’s okay to have a harder Holiday season.  Give yourself grace to get through this time, and I’ll try to remember to do the same for myself.  And know that you aren’t alone.

So, if you know loss or you’re feeling sad as this season kicks into gear, I hope you can find support, community, and love around you.  And I hope you can find it here.  If you want some company as you walk through this harder season, I’d love to have some friends to walk with.  And if you want us to be thinking about you, please leave a comment and let us know.


  1. Prayers for you and your family this season. My family lost our Dad last December right before Christmas. While this is our second Christmas without him, in many ways it feels like the first because it was so fresh last year. This article was exactly what I needed today. Thank you for that.

  2. Lauren, I can kind of sympathize with where you are coming from. In the last month we found out that we miscarried Baby #2 for our family. It’s amazing how the moment we find out we’re expecting, we jump right into all those hopes and dreams and joyful thoughts of the future. That’s a loving parent’s heart. After my dreams of carrying another baby this holiday season, and what next year would be like in welcoming a second child to our family were broken, I saw God’s grace in it all. I plan to really bask in soaking up all the love and joy we can have with our son this Christmas. Do extra things with him to create joyful memories, while we have just this time with him. And keep sweet thoughts of our baby. One night I said to my husband, I wonder what our baby looks like, and his response was this “Perfect.” And what a perfect place our baby is in. Although we’d rather have our baby here, our baby is in the most perfect place, born into heaven. Allow yourself to feel that joy that you have with your sweet child and the loss you have of not spending time with your other. Just don’t miss this moment, this time that you have with your family right now. I know you won’t.


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