Coping with the Loss of a Loved One this Holiday Season

Hospice of Santa Barbara Offers Tips, Events to Support Those Grieving During the Holidays

The holiday season can stir up a range of emotions, including joy, stress, sadness, and everything in between. For those preparing to navigate the holiday season after dealing with the recent loss of a loved one, this time of year can be even more difficult.

Hospice of Santa Barbara (HSB) understands that grieving during the holidays is an extremely difficult situation, and is offering tips, workshops, and community events to help during the grieving process.

Below are some tips to keep in mind this holiday season:

  • Remember that not everyone grieves the same way and that it’s ok to be happy. Even when you’re grieving, it’s not unusual to laugh or smile when thinking about your favorite memories.
  • Ask for what you need. Others don’t know what to say or do unless you tell them what would help most.
  • Think about what the holidays will be like without your loved one ahead of time. You’ll be better prepared to deal with tough situations if you think about how you’ll feel in advance, rather than getting caught off guard when certain moments arise.
  • Spend time with family and friends. Surrounding yourself with those who also knew and cared about your loved one can help the healing process by creating a positive atmosphere in a safe, comfortable place.
  • Create a new holiday tradition in memory of your loved one. Rather than being reminded of the things you used to do together, creating a new tradition can be a great way to move forward while continuing to honor and celebrate their memory.
  • Attend a grief support group or workshop. This will give you the opportunity to connect with others in the community who can relate to your situation. HSB is hosting Holiday Grief Workshops on Saturday, December 1st and Saturday, December 15th. Click here for details.

Another opportunity to celebrate loved ones who have passed is HSB’s upcoming Light Up a Life ceremonies happening throughout the Santa Barbara area this December.

Light Up a Life ceremonies are free to attend and feature special guests and speakers, music, and a memorial tree lighting, including hundreds of sparkling tribute stars hung to commemorate those who are no longer with us.

Stars are available online and will also be available at each ceremony for a suggested donation of $15 or more for those wishing to personalize a star to hang on the tree. Hospice of Santa Barbara will record the names being honored and remembered into the Book of Life, which will be available in perpetuity online. All proceeds will benefit Hospice of Santa Barbara programs.

Light Up a Life Dates and Locations

  • Saturday, December 1st, 5:30 pm – Casa de la Guerra, 15 E. De La Guerra St., Santa Barbara
  • Sunday, December 2nd, 5:30 pm – Camino Real Marketplace, Storke & Marketplace Drive, Goleta
  • Wednesday, December 5th, 5:30 pm – Montecito Upper Village Green, Corner of San Ysidro and E. Valley Rd., Montecito
  • Saturday, December 8th, 5:30 pm – Seal Fountain at Linden Plaza, Linden Avenue, Carpinteria

All events begin at 5:30 pm, but guests are encouraged to arrive at 5:00 to hang their personalized stars on the tree.

To purchase a star or for more information about Light Up a Life, call (805) 563-8820 or visit

Hospice of Santa Barbara provides professional counseling, support groups, and patient care services free of charge to individuals and families who are grieving the death of a loved one or experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness.  Hospice of Santa Barbara also provides counseling in our offices and on twelve local junior and high school campuses to children and teens who are grieving a loss. For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call (805) 563-8820 or visit

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