Q: The holiday season has always been a grand affair at my house with family reunion meals,
festive decorations, and endless eggnog. My family always took it very seriously, especially my
dad who dressed up as Santa and partied the hardest. Unfortunately, my father passed away in
February with COVID. Now, I’m dreading the holiday season and my house feels so heavy. I
can’t even bring myself to look at the Christmas decorations my father always hung up. Even
my mom and sister keep pestering me to help them put the decorations up “in his memory”. I
just don’t feel like it and I don’t think anyone gets it. What should I do?

A: It’s totally normal to “not feel like it”. I’m sure you are missing your dad. While they feel their
activities are honoring his memory, you’re just not up for it this year. Don’t be too hard on them,
but let them know how you’re feeling and what you need; which right now sounds like space to
grieve. It’s not disloyal to move on but it’s also completely okay to be in a different place than
they are right now. Everyone in your family is going to need to get through this holiday in their
own way the best they can. Be kind to yourself and to others, and ask that from them as well.