Why New Year is tough for grievers and what to do about it

Why New Year is tough for grievers and what to do about it


I had no idea and I recall the first New Year without my son Aaron here, I found myself deeply emotional and my grief was very heavy. I felt totally triggered but I didn’t understand why.

At the time I was in David Kessler’s Tender Hearts Online Grief Support Group. He explained why New Year is one of the toughest days for grievers and it helped me a lot.

Throughout this article, I will explain the significance of the New Year in relation to grief, and also provide strategies to enable you to view and process this in a more empowering way.

Why is it so hard?

Most people celebrate the New Year because traditionally it’s a time for new beginnings.

It’s a time we make wishes and resolutions for the coming year. We get excited and use the opportunity of a new beginning to motivate us and make changes.

When it comes to grief, I’ve learned that New Years’ is tough because when we say goodbye to the previous year, it feels like we are moving further away from our loved one.

New Year is a day, an occasion we tend to give meaning to

AND moving into the New Year without them is not what we want which intensifies our feelings of grief and separation.

It feels like we are leaving them behind and moving on without them.

How can we view this differently?

This sense of leaving our loved ones behind simply doesn’t serve us.

I encourage you to view the New Year as a time when we can include our grief.

It’s an opportunity to redefine it and show our love to those who are no longer here with us.

  • We can choose to shift the meaning to include our loved ones.
  • We can choose to bring them with us. 
  • We can choose to create meaning and honor their lives.
  • We can can choose to bring them even closer into our hearts.
  • We can choose to create new meaning around the New year.
  • We can choose to redefine our relationship with them. 
  • We can choose to create new rituals that continually connect us.

Tips for making the new year easier

What part of your grief can you leave behind?

It’s useful to consider what part of your grief would you like to leave behind in the previous year?

Talk to your grief, let it speak. Write a letter, ask it questions. What does it need to let go of? What aspects of your grief are not serving you?

What part of your grief will you bring with you?

What do you need to create more room for this coming year?
What does your grief need?
How can you feel more empowered?

The first year after really struggling, I decided to create more connection with my son in the New Year. It made the transition much easier for me.

Send them a blessing or prayer

Take some time to wish your loved one a New Year. To spend a moment in connection, sending a blessing or a prayer.

Remember New Year is just another day on the calendar

This means you decide what it means for you. You can decide to give it significance, or not. It’s up to you. You can think of it like you are moving further away from the tragedy of their death, but not further away from them. We can bring them with us.


Always remember to look after yourself, and be kind to yourself. If you’re struggling please reach out for professional support. Do you research and make sure they are grief informed and experienced. 

At the end of the day, Grief is love, no one can take away your love, so connecting with your love and your loved one – is empowering and meaningful. It helps. 

New Year is no different

Check out our video New Year is a hard time for Grievers and share with those whom you feel may need it.

Creating Change is all about helping people to live their best life, despite the may challenges life presents. We offer free MassterClasses, Workshops, Group and 1:1 Coaching & Healing.

Wishing you peace in the New Year. In loving remembrance,

Christy Roberts