How to Get Through Holidays If You’ve Lost a Loved One Media publish Dr. SanFilippo's tips on how to cope

christmascandlesDavid Bowie, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Nancy Reagan and Fidel Castro all passed away in 2016. So did fathers and mothers, wives and husbands, siblings and friends of people everywhere.

As the holidays approach, NLU’s David SanFilippo, Ph.D., says those who are left behind may confront a confusing mix of feelings, from remorse and emptiness to bittersweet memories of holidays past.

Several media outlets, including, and, have featured SanFilippo’s tips for those experiencing loss and grief. ¬†SanFilippo is an associate professor who teaches courses on death, dying and consciousness.

The tips include:

Go at your own pace getting involved in the season and its traditions and rituals. Some survivors may want to sit out the holidays this year. Other survivors may try to immerse themselves in the spiritual or joyful dimension of the holidays, or have a muted celebration.

Develop new traditions or rituals that celebrate the living and remember the departed. For example, families could light a candle to cherish lost loved ones and honor their presence at holidays in the past.

Create a memorial for the lost loved one. Sanfilippo writes: As an example, when we lost our granddaughter, we created a memorial garden in her honor in our backyard. During the warm months, the garden grows colorful flowers. In the cold months, they are replaced with pretty artificial flowers.

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