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Grief in the New Year

by Chaplain Julia Rajtar, MAPS, BCC

Happy New Year! Open a window to let out the old and welcome in the new year. To that, a bereaved responded, “Well then, I better open the doors, windows, and roof,” with a chuckle in his voice. Another bereaved responded, “The pain of the loss is still with me, still as strong, hasn’t changed just because a few numbers changed.”  

When carrying the pain of the death of a loved one, into a new year, how do you move forward? Are we to let out the old and welcome in the new? What does that even mean when you are grieving and mourning? 

A variety of professionals offer guidance and resources on this subject. The websites and articles are listed below. There is no one-size-fits-all. Grief is natural, grief is normal. When we take care of ourselves and our grief, it allows us to give to the people and things that matter most to us. Even at the start of a new year, it’s okay to not be okay.  

Dougy CenterNew Year’s Intentions & Grief

Hospice Foundation of America:  The Journey Through Grief

Mindfulness and GriefGrief in the New Year6 Mindful Tips to Cope

What’s Your Grief:  8 (Reasonable) New Year’s Resolutions for Grievers


Dougy Center, “New Year’s Intentions & Grief.” Dougy Center. November 5, 2020, January 12, 2024. <>

Tatelbaum, Judy, MSW, LCSW, “The Journey Through Grief.” Hospice Foundation of America. Journey’s Newsletter, 2018. January 12, 2024. <>

Stang, Heather, MA, C-IAYT, “Grief In The New Year: 6 Mindful Tips To Cope.” Mindfulness & Grief Institute, January 1, 2024, January 12, 2024. <>

Haley, Eleanor, “8 (Reasonable) New Year’s Resolutions for Grievers.”, what’s your grief?, December 30, 2012, January 12, 2024. <>

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