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How to cope during the holidays after the death of a spouse

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Grieving through the holidays

The first Christmas after your spouse has passed away can seem impossible to bear. You may be still mourning and the thoughts of past holidays together can cut deep. However, you can use those memories to help you cope through the holiday season.

Holiday blues

Write him a letter

Instead of trying to forget about the times you shared, embrace them. Hang a stocking with your spouse's name. Write a letter and let him know how much you miss him, talking about all those past holidays you spent together. Slip the letter along with a couple holiday photos in the stocking. When New Year's comes around, take down the stocking and tuck it away until next year. Just writing out your feelings can help you cope.

Keep his traditions

If your husband had some special traditions for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Year's, try to maintain them. Enlist some of his friends and family to help you carry on the tradition and keep it going, whether it's going caroling in the neighborhood or volunteering at a children's shelter.

Make a donation in his name

Christmas is a time for giving. Why not give a donation in his name to a cause that your husband held dear? Donations are a great way to memoralize a person that you have lost, while also helping out a worthy charity.

Spend time with his family

As hard as it may be, spend time with your deceased husband's family. Whether the death was from a longtime illness or an unexpected tragedy, everyone is hurting right now. Lean on each other for support through the holidays, no matter how well (or not so well) you have gotten along in the past. Sharing memories with each other can make your holiday full of happy tears rather than sorrow.

Coping during the holidays

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