Coping with loss is never easy, but the holidays can be especially difficult. If you recently lost a friend or loved one, or are still trying to cope with the emptiness left behind when someone has passed, then it is important to remember the following: 1) There is no timeline for grief. We all grieve at our own pace regardless of what friends or family may tell you. 2) The grief over losing a loved one will never completely go away, BUT it will change over time. 3) Give yourself the permission to accept that the holidays (especially those “firsts”) are not going to be the same. Decide what traditions, activities and celebrations suit your needs and desires. 4) Don’t pressure yourself with “I have to hold it together.” 5) Talk about your feelings as much as you need and don’t resist the emotions. Seek the services of a professional counselor or therapist for additional support.