How to Survive the Holidays When You Are Estranged from Your Child

5 tips for enjoying your holidays when you are missing your child

Beth Bruno

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Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Enduring the loss of an adult child to estrangement is hard at any time, but the holidays can magnify our grief and pain.

The holidays bring so many messages about what family is supposed to look like. We can get swept away with the images of happy families we see in advertisements, Christmas cards and Hallmark movies. We may feel overwhelmed by shame because ours does not look like that.

If your adult child is not in your life, you know the anguish of spending a holiday season with no contact. Holidays are when we are supposed to be the happiest. It’s when families come together to celebrate their connection. It’s when parents lavish their kids and grandkids with gifts, family dinners and their favorite cookies.

The grief we experience when there is a child missing from these special times can cause us to miss the joy that is there. It’s ok to feel sad and even to allow yourself to feel the grief of not having your child there. But the one thing I have learned is that I have a choice. I can cancel the holiday and be miserable or I can acknowledge my pain, feel the sadness, and then go ahead and make Christmas for my family anyway. I have been…

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Beth Bruno

Human learning to be human. Writing in hopes of getting there.