I won’t be popular with this thought, but Christmas is celebrated with such fervor that sometimes the season feels more like a job to me instead of the pleasure it’s supposed to be. The pressure to “celebrate” comes from the assault early on of goodies, lights, music, ads and santas… everywhere. I try to be onboard because that feeling of excitement is, well, exciting. But it’s all just too much sometimes, and I want to run for my bed and pull that cozy comforter over my head until the storm passes!

One sure way to make the holidays are more palatable and more meaningful is to comfort someone you know who’s having a hard time. And the best gift, after all, is your time. For many of us, this time of year isn’t all about warm fuzzy feelings or clinking glasses of cheer with friends and family. Not everybody has friends. Not everybody has family. Many have suffered a major loss during the year and that first holiday is very painful. If you know someone who is having a hard time lately, maybe it’s because this is their first Christmas since.

I try to remember that grieving isn’t always about death; there are many things we develop a deep attachment to over the years, so there are other losses that throw us for a loop — our health, our independence, a great job or house, a meaningful relationship, a pet or even a dream.

Getting-through-loss-holidaysThe amount of loss we all have to cope with during our lives is why my book brings comfort during these times. Emerging from the Heartache of Loss is filled with suggestions on how to move forward. Showing someone that you understand, and acknowledging their sadness, might help keep them afloat until the hoopla is over.