Single Parent: Surviving Christmas After the Death of Spouse

4741340685_407cf1886eThe holiday season is upon us. The rest of the world heads to the mall, adorns their Christmas trees and prepares a feast fit for royalty. It’s a common scenario among those who find this season as the most wonderful time of the year. However, it’s not the case for single parents who just lost their spouse.

It’s a dreadful time for people who have just been left behind by their husbands or wives. Truly, Christmas without your better half is a thought too much to bear. If you are one of them, then know that you are not alone.

Today we are going to help you through this challenging ordeal. We will be giving you tips to cope with the loss you’re currently feeling. Hopefully along the way, we can bring back even the tiniest bit of spark that will get you through the holidays.

  1. Acknowledge how you feel

People grieve differently. There are those who seek isolation while there are those who deny how they truly feel in hopes of coping with loss. One of the best ways to deal with death is to acknowledge how you feel. There is no one-size-fits-all emotion when it comes to mourning someone’s death. Right now, it’s perfectly okay to feel how you feel. Don’t think that you’re doing things the wrong way. When you are honest with yourself, it’s going to be easier to move to the next step.

  1. Find balance

These times are the hardest. Days would be paralyzing and nights would feel longer. However, there are many ways you can prepare for the holidays after the passing on of your spouse. We’ve learned that creating balance ahead of time helps you anticipate this season. From setting a schedule to spend time with friends and family to finding alone time to grieve, it helps to be somewhere in between.

  1. Isolate but release

There are those who end up withdrawing themselves from everyone. They would much rather be alone especially during the holidays, where they may feel others are having a far better time than them. Allow yourself to be alone but try your best to release one way or another. Let those tears flow. Write a letter to your spouse and allow your emotions to pour out. Perhaps after such time, you’ll be ready to face the world gradually again. Just maybe, you might take up your friend on that offer for a holiday dinner with their family.

  1. Create a new tradition

We’ve all gotten used to a certain way of celebrating the holidays before. Now that we are trying to accept our new reality, it’s also good to create new traditions along the way. Some families would cope by spending Christmas with their relatives or friends elsewhere. If you end up spending it the way you’ve always spent it this year despite the loss, it may open a floodgate of emotions that won’t help you our your children.

  1. Spend time with your children

You can be in a dark place right now, feeling like all hope is lost and there is no reason to be celebratory this year. However, remind yourself that you have your children to spend it with. They too, are mourning the loss of their parent that is felt more intensely during the holidays. Help each other make it through by spending time together. Whether it’s to go to the grocery store or putting up the Christmas tree, make sure your family seeks each other’s help and guidance. Plus, this also eases the pain and tells you that you are not alone.

  1. Seek support from other loved ones

One of the best ways to come to terms with the pain is to talk about it. Remember, you have your friends and loved ones to run to when it becomes particularly unbearable. It’s okay if you’re not ready to join a huge Christmas party but do try your best to accept smaller invitations. More than anything, these people love you and want nothing more than for you to feel that you are loved; that you have people you can cry to or spend time in silence with.

  1. Find an outlet

Whether it’s to volunteer in a nearby shelter, have a Netflix binge or become physically active, there are a lot of ways you can keep your mind, body and soul preoccupied. This is not to deny the reality of the situation. It’s to help you get through it. It would be better if these activities would involve your children, so as to keep everyone’s spirit up somehow.

  1. Ask for professional help

Professional help is ideal for those who find it extremely hard to cope during the holidays. Whether it’s a support group or a professional counselor, it pays to open up to someone to help improve your situation. When you find that the pain has rendered you emotionally paralyzed, perhaps therapy might help.


Always remember that you are not along during these trying times. Your children, friends and relatives are all here to ease the holiday blues.