A Sample Holiday Letter to Friends and Family

Dear Friends and Family,

The holiday Seasons is a time of peace and happiness; a time of family gatherings and a bond of closeness felt more strongly than on any other holiday of the year.

There are also very different emotions surfacing now for those of us who have experienced the death of a child, sibling, or spouse. We may be angry, depressed, fearful or we may just not care. There may be a deep consuming anguish for those having their first holiday; a few tears and the remembrance of “how it used to be”, for those experiencing the second, third or twenty-third holiday.

There are times when it is too painful to tell you how we feel, or why we act a certain way. Sometimes we don’t know ourselves. We can’t tell you why today; hearing a song, seeing a child going into a store, seeing his/her favorite food, should bring memories and tears, when yesterday it didn’t.

We may want to change things this holiday, do things differently than we have in the past. This is our way of coping with the Holiday. Please take our feelings into consideration when making your plans.

For some of us, shopping, buying gifts, can be difficult or extremely painful. It seems you always have to pass, or find yourself in, that section of the store where you no longer need be. Small tasks that we did last year, remain undone. They may not seem important, we may not have the energy, or they are just too painful to do.

Please don’t tell us to turn off our memories, to snap out of it, that he/she is dead and life must go on. We, more than you, know our loved one is dead. But our love for them doesn’t end with death. All we have left of a very special part of our lives are the memories, and they return at unexpected times, filling us with the intense longing for what is not more. Yes, we fully realize that he/she is dead, gone forever, and that is what hurts.

Please have patience with us. Try to understand why we are acting or feeling the way we are today. With a small look or gesture, let us know it is all right with you for us to love, to cry, to remember. We aren’t doing it to make you uncomfortable or to gain sympathy. We are just trying to cope. Please help us “make it through” this Holiday season.

– Author Unknown

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