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Fives Ways to Help a Grieving Person During the Holidays

Written by Memorial Mortuaries & Cemeteries in-house grief counselor, Amanda Nelsen:

Holidays tend to be an exciting and fun time of year. We have lots of gatherings, gift giving, and general warm feelings. But when you are grieving, the holidays can bring up a whole new element to your grief.

If you love someone who is grieving this holiday season, here are five ways you can help them:

1. Acknowledge their ambivalence about celebrating the holidays. Holidays tend to be laden with tradition and memories. While it can be nice to remember the good times, it can be make the bereaved feel their loved one’s absence more acutely.


2. Invite them to celebrations and parties, even if they decline to come. Relationships change after a death, sometimes we feel awkward or don’t know how to act around someone who is grieving. But no one wants to be treated like an outsider because of their grief.


3. Bring up their deceased loved one. You won’t make them sad, they are always thinking about their loved one. They love to hear other people’s memories and thoughts about their loved one.


4. Help them create new traditions around their grief. You might visit the grave together or do some service in honor of their loved one.


5. Connect with them. It can be a phone call, a special treat left on their doorstep, or taking them out for an activity. Grieving people will appreciate your thoughts and efforts to reach out during a difficult time.

Amanda is a Clinical Mental Health Counselor, specializing in individual and family therapy for people of varying backgrounds. She works for Memorial Estates, running their Grief & Loss Counseling program.

She has extensive experience working with adolescents and families in the community. Amanda received her Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah. There she focused on Multicultural and Client Centered Counseling.

Amanda started her career working for Salt Lake County Youth Services, serving families from all backgrounds and with a wide variety of issues. She further developed her passion for helping people recover and heal from trauma and loss.

In counseling, Amanda values the trust and safety of the therapeutic relationship. She creates a counseling environment full of compassion, safety, empathy, and understanding. She constantly strives to help to cultivate strong relationships and assist families to cope with the loss of a loved one. Through her open attitude, and the warm environment that she facilitates, families can begin to feel peace as they work through their bereavement.

Memorial Utah, with the help of Amanda Nelsen, is committed to helping you through the loss of your loved one. You may contact Amanda at (801) 718-1520 or

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