4 Ways to Navigate Grandparent Grief During the Holidays

4 Ways to Navigate Grandparent Grief During the Holidays

Getty/Paulo Cordoni

The holidays often bring intense feelings of grief, particularly if we have lost grandparents. An alternative trauma healer provides four ways to navigate grandparent grief this season.

Having a loving relationship with your grandparents can be a blessing. Grandparents are often family members (or elders who have adopted you into their lineage) who provide unconditional love and see us in ways that others cannot. Healthy grandparents are loving and encourage you to grow and be the healthiest version of yourself. Our grandparents often find great pride in us and see us as reflections of themselves and their legacies here on the earthly plane.

For those who have lost grandparents with whom they were close, the holidays often heighten the experience of grief because many of our greatest memories with grandparents stem from the holiday season. For many people, their grandparents were why they historically celebrated and enjoyed the holiday season. Here are four ways to navigate that grief.

Indulge in Your Grandparents’ Favorite Dishes

Many of us possess potent holiday memories of our grandparents preparing dishes with aromas that carry throughout the house. We may also have memories of preparing certain dishes and learning recipes from our grandparents. Because of this, one of the things we often miss is the experience of preparing or enjoying special food during the holidays. We often feel that our grandparents’ recipes are sacred and many of us are nervous to try to recreate that experience. Give yourself permission to try. It is the intention that counts. If you have to prepare the recipe slightly differently or purchase a dish instead, that is okay. Your desire to maintain the connection is what matters.

Your grandparents would not have allowed you to have that experience without hoping that you would share it with your own children or grandchildren. Ancestors like being remembered and honored. By preparing and enjoying some of the food you shared with your grandparents, you are giving yourself the opportunity to tap into some of the healing energy of those experiences, but also maintain the traditions for future generations.

Tap Into Their Ancestral Energy

Often, we miss the energy of our grandparents because grandparents tend to be anchors for the family, and pillars of wisdom, truth, and love. If your relationship with your grandparents was healthy, you were given the opportunity to see how they embodied their truth. Because you are related to your grandparents, you can exude that same energy. You share a lineage with your grandparents, and therefore, you have that power too.

If you desire to do so, you can be a channel for love, wisdom, truth, and support for your loved ones. You can also be that for yourself. In order to do this, think about the additional traits your grandparents exuded that you admired. How can you embody those characteristics during this holiday season? For example, if your grandfather was generous, how can you be similarly generous with others during this holiday season? If your grandmother was truthful, how can you be more truthful with others and yourself this holiday season? By tapping into their ancestral energy, you give yourself the opportunity to feel closer to them and honor the lineage from which you come.

Participate in Actions That Honor Their Wisdom

Grandparents often give us wisdom on ways to live fruitful and healthy lives. Participating in actions that highlight that wisdom can help us feel closer to them. In order to do this, think about the wisdom your own grandparents provided. What pieces of advice are beneficial to utilize during the holidays? Your grandparents may have instructed you on how to maintain healthy relationships with other family members. Or, they may have given advice on how to maintain financial wellness. They also may have been a source of unconditional love and helped you to develop your own inner voice.

Close your eyes and visualize your grandparent saying the piece of wisdom you need to hear most during this holiday season. Visualize the clothes they were wearing, any perfume or cologne they wore, and how the environment interacted with your senses. Once you have your visualization, apply that advice during this holiday season. You can also send them energetic gratitude for their profound wisdom.

Say Their Names and Commemorate Their Legacies

We honor our grandparents by remembering them. Saying their names is one of the best and easiest ways to commemorate them. Grandparents are often the foundation of holiday celebrations, so speaking their names during conversation and holiday events is important. Posting their pictures is another way to honor their legacies. Make space for their pictures in your home especially during the holiday season.

Sharing the stories and memories you have with them is also a way to honor your grandparents. You can do this by mentioning a behavior they would participate in during the holidays that brought laughter, joy, or insight. You can also describe the ways in which they helped make the holidays special. Sharing those memories keeps their legacies alive. This helps to memorialize their impact and ensure they are remembered by generations to come.

Why Is Grief So Powerful During the Holidays?

Grief can be difficult and impacts everyone differently. However, if we are grieving, that means we have loved. That love is powerful. Honoring and maintaining the traditions we had with our grandparents while they were on the earthly plane is a beautiful way to help navigate grief and memorialize and maintain the love we shared with them. Your grandparents smile down upon you when they see you embodying their wisdom and legacy. They are always here with us in Spirit.

And to my own grandmother, Lois, whom I often grieve for during the holidays; thank you for your infinite wisdom, protection, and love. You were and are a force, and you deserve to be honored always. Ase’.

Learn more about the power of self-empathy on the healing journey.

4 Ways to Navigate Grandparent Grief During The Holidays

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