The first holiday after your spouse/partner has passed away can seem impossible to bear. You may be still mourning and the thoughts of past holidays together can cut deep, but those same memories can help you cope through the holiday season.

Write your beloved a letter
Instead of trying to forget about the times you shared, embrace them. Hang a stocking with your spouse’s /partner’s name. Write a letter and let him know how much you miss him, write about all those past holidays you spent together. Slip the letter along with a couple holiday photos in the stocking. When New Year’s comes around, take down the stocking and tuck it away until next year. Just writing out your feelings can help you cope.

Keep their traditions
If your spouse/partner had some special traditions for Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas or New Year’s, try to maintain them. Enlist some of friends and family to help you carry on the tradition and keep it going. Keeping the traditions will help you and all those who loved him.

Make a donation
The Holidays are a time for giving. Why not give a donation in your spouse’s/partner’s name to a cause that your beloved held dear? Donations are a great way to memorialize a person that you have lost, while also helping out a worthy charity.

Spend time with family
As hard as it may be, spend time with your deceased spouse’s/partner’s family. Whether the death was from a longtime illness or an unexpected tragedy, everyone is hurting right now. Lean on each other for support through the holidays, no matter how well (or not so well) you have gotten along in the past. Sharing memories with each other can make your holiday full of happy tears rather than sorrow. Remember to be there for your children. They are hurting too, but so as not to upset you, they maybe be hiding their pain.

Adapted from She Knows.