While other people may make New Year’s resolutions, a new year without a loved one can create painful challenges. It is difficult enough to live each day as it comes when our heart and soul is grieving, and it can be scary to think of a whole new year ahead of us. Leaving the previous year behind can leave us feeling empty and lonely, making us wonder what the new year will bring and whether we will be able to face any more pain.

Some days are just too painful to wake up not knowing what we’ll do with the day, let alone what we’ll do with a whole new year. Burdened by grief, we may fear that the new year will be no different. Our heart and soul yearns for the person we’ve lost, as well as the precious memories we shared together. We remember how things were and wish we could go back in time, worried we may lose the special memories in time. 

Grief during the New Year

Facing a New Year when You’ve lost a loved one

For different grievers, the approach of a new year may mean different things. Whether we look forwards to, dread, or ignore a new year is likely to be determined by where we are in the grieving process. The question isn’t whether grief will appear but how we will deal with it.

I hope that as you find the strength to courageously walk through your grief, and that you will eventually find the strength to look forwards to the New Year with a sense of wonder about what it might bring.

Be sure to be kind with yourself and try these resolutions for the coming year. We asked friends, colleagues and clients for ideas on how to face the New Year when you’ve lost a loved one.

And here is what you had to say: 

  • Don’t compare your grief journey to others’ or feel that you should be grieving differently. Each grief journey is different; you are exactly where you need to be. Give yourself permission to grieve the way you want to 
  • Surround yourself with those who support you and your grief, the ones you feel comfortable around
  • Allow your heart and soul to heal, one day at a time, by being kind and gentle with yourself.
  • Allow yourself to rest if you feel it will help you through the grieving process.
  • Start a grief diary or write down the memories you both shared.
  • Join a support group, offline or online or talk with friends and family members who can list and share memories.
  • listen to new Podcasts that might help you to connect with others who experience similar emotions of grief and overwhelm when facing the New Year

The start of the New Year can feel overwhelming. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to grieve for as long as you need.

Grief during New Year - Permission To Grief