A Message for Grievers on Christmas Day

By Heather Stang, MA, C-IAYT

Posted: December 25, 2023

I want to remind you of something incredibly important today: It's okay not to feel okay.

Grief is a unique and personal journey, and your holiday experience may not always align with the expectations of others. But that doesn't mean there's something wrong with you. It means you are grieving.

Today – and every day for that matter – you may find yourself navigating a wide range of emotions. It's crucial to understand that feeling moments of joy doesn't diminish the love you hold for the ones you miss, and feeling sadness doesn't mean you love those who remain any less.

Your heart is spacious enough to hold all these feelings, and they are all valid parts of your journey.

As we approach the end holiday season, I want you to take a moment to reflect on your resilience. There may have been a time when you didn't know how you were going to make it through the holidays.

But here you are, reading this message, proving that you ARE making it through, one step at a time. Remember, the holidays are temporary, and they will pass.

Looking ahead to the New Year, I'll be reaching out with a plan to help you navigate it. But for now, I encourage you to focus on today, on this moment.

Take a deep breath and check in with your body, your breath, and your feelings. What do you need right now? What can you offer to yourself in this moment?

Now take a break and give it to yourself. A gesture, kind words, understanding. This act of self-compassion matters.

In closing, I want you to know that I am sending metta – lovingkindness and compassion – out to everyone who is grieving today. This includes you.

May you find the peace and strength you need to continue your unique and profound journey through grief.

With warmth and understanding,


Heather Stang, MA, C-IAYT

About the author

Heather Stang, M.A. is the author of Living with Grief and the guided journal, From Grief To Peace. She is the creator of the Mindfulness & Grief System that is featured in the Handbook of Grief Therapies (2023) and is the founder of Awaken, a mindfulness-based online grief support group. Heather also hosts the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, and offers mindfulness-based grief support online through her organization, the Mindfulness & Grief Institute. She holds a Masters degree in Thanatology (Death, Dying, and Bereavement) from Hood College in Maryland, and is a certified Yoga Therapist. She currently lives in Falling Waters, WV.

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