What's Your Grief Podcast (Holidays and Special Days)

We're two days into 2023 and the theme for us has been . . . meh. That 'new year, new me' rhetoric gets old fast. In this episode we're talking about why moving into a new year can feel hard, especially for grievers. That means musing about what happiness is (and isn't), the appeal (and risks) of a 'fresh start', and living a 'because of' life instead of an 'in spite of' life.  Read Eleanor's article that we mention here

Want to join our free webinar on coping with grief in the new year? Sign up here-  https://whatsyourgrief.ck.page/70975d2c57

About us: Eleanor Haley, MS and Litsa Williams, MA, LCSW-C are the co-founders of What's Your Grief, one of the largest online grief and bereavement support communities. Both are mental health professionals who have lived through significant death and non-death losses. Since late 2012 they have been growing WYG as a resource for grievers who are looking for something beyond the walls of traditional therapy and support groups. 

We don't have ads or a patreon. What helps us most is if you join the WYG member community for grief education, connection, accountability, a grief book club & more.  It is only $12/month and it is a big part of what keeps the podcast going - https://whatsyourgrief.com/online-grief-community/ 

If you're a grief professional, we have a community for you too. https://whatsyourgrief.com/grief-professionals-community/

Also, if you like the podcast we're pretty sure you'll like the book! And you can get it in print or on audible, for those of youOur book is available anywhere you buy books:

Social stuff:






Direct download: New_Year_Podcast.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 5:21am EDT

Eleanor's been feeling pretty disconnected this holiday season. Though that might sound better than feeling terrible, it turns out that numbness and disconnection are their own version of unsettling. In this episode, we're tackling this common-but-difficult-to-describe experience in grief - feeling nothing and what to do about it. 

2022 is winding down and we'd love your support to keep this podcast going in 2023. Please consider joining our What's Your Grief circle community - there are tons of great resources to help you in your grief.  Your $12/month (or $100/year) is a huge part of keeping this podcast going. 

Join the What's Your Grief grievers' circle community here!

Are you a grief or mental health professional? Join the grief and mental health professionals' circle here!

Buy our book - What's Your Grief: Lists to Help You Through Any Loss (available in print, audible and kindle)

Check out hundreds of articles on all things grief at https://whatsyourgrief.com/

Direct download: disconnected_holiday.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 11:19am EDT

By far one of the hardest outcomes to accept about the holidays after the death of a loved one is that tradition needs to be changed or skipped. Traditions your loved one used to be involved with have to change and even those they weren’t a part of may seem entirely too difficult to manage. The worst thing you can do is set your holidays on autopilot and hope things work themselves out. Not only does this put you at risk of being majorly blindsided by your grief, but it also takes away from your traditions. In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we discuss how to handle holiday tradition after the death of a loved one.

Direct download: Season_2-_Episode_5.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 12:28pm EDT

People tend to have a lot of expectations about the holiday season.  This is true during times of peace and during times of turmoil. After the death of a loved one, grieving people continue to have expectations about the holiday season. Sometimes these expectations are based on past ideals that have become impossible to replicate since someone integral to existing ritual and tradition has died.  Sometimes these expectations are based on anxiety and worst-case-scenarios.  And sometimes they are based on pressures put upon us by ourselves and by others.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we will discuss the way our holiday expectations are shaped after the death of a loved one, how rigid expectations can set us up for failure, and offer tips for managing expectations at the holidays.

P.S. - we are aware that the sound quality in the last few (forty-five?) episodes has been less than wonderful.  We've recently ordered new (and improved!) recording equipment so next time you hear from us it will be much more pleasant to listen to (fingers crossed).  We appreciate you sticking with us through our podcasting growing pains.

Direct download: Managing_Holiday_Expectation.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 4:15pm EDT

Although Litsa and I have never been big on Valentine's Day, we realize many of you may have warm, fond memories of Valentine's Days past.  Regardless of where you typically fall of the Valentine's Day love-hate spectrum, a day focused on romance and love can be hard on those who are feeling sad.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we discuss some very specific ways to spend Valentine's Day when you're grieving.  We discuss options for staying in alone or with a small group of people and, for those of you who hate sitting around the house, we discuss constructive ways to get out and make the most of the day.


Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/thirty-four

Direct download: February_2.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 10:43am EDT

With New Years just a few days away, you may be tempted to make a resolution for 2016; especially if 2015 has been a tough year.  In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we discuss the positives, pitfalls, and practicalities of making a New Year's resolution when you're grieving.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/thirty-two

Direct download: new_years.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 11:41am EDT

Although your wedding is a happy and joyous occasion, it can be a bittersweet when someone important has died and isn't there for your special day.  There are lots of little ways to bring yourself comfort and honor and remember the person you who has died on your wedding day. In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we invite our grief friend Jana DeCristofaro of the Dougy Center to help us discuss planning and navigating your wedding day after a loss.

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/twenty-six

Direct download: dougy2.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 7:53pm EDT

When someone dies, those they leave behind not only grieve for the present but they also grieve for their loved one's absence in the future. For children and teens, complicated feelings and emotions around future milestones like weddings, starting a family, and graduations can be expected.

In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast, we invite Jana DeCristofaro from the Dougy Center to talk with us about the many ways that grief can impact children, teens and families when it comes to marriage and weddings.  We also share a few tips and tricks for attending weddings after a death.  

Show Notes: www.whatsyourgrief.com/twenty-five

Direct download: dougy_1.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 7:51pm EDT

Every day can feel tough after the death of a loved one, but there are certain days such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays that can evoke even more magnified and intense feelings of grief.  It's common for people to feel worry and anxiety over the expected wave of emotion that these special days will bring.  Although there are many different ways to cope with grief and special days, we generally believe the best thing a person can do is to think ahead and plan how they will spend the day.

In this episode of the What's Your Grief Podcast we discuss different types of days and events that might cause a person experiencing grief to feel anxiety and worry; the decision whether or not to recognize and participate in the day or event; and proactive ways to plan and cope with the expected and unexpected grief triggers experienced on these days.  

Show Notes:  www.whatsyourgrief.com/fifteen

Direct download: special_days.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 10:19am EDT

Grief and the Holidays

This time of year can be particularly difficult for people grieving the loss of a loved one.  Spouses, parents, children and siblings muddle through parties, presents and merriment to finally confront the gut wrenching presence of an empty chair at their holiday table.

In their very first podcast the girls behind the What's Your Grief website discuss the top ten reasons why the holidays can be hard for those grieving a loss and share their top 5 suggestions for coping with the holidays after a death.


Outline and show notes can be found at www.whatsyourgrief.com/one

Direct download: Grief_and_the_Holidays.mp3
Category:Holidays and Special Days -- posted at: 1:49pm EDT