Family of three together on a country path

WAY members share how they cope at Easter

Holidays such as Easter can be especially difficult for families who have lost someone special in their life. With so many people sharing their happy moments it can be difficult to avoid the holidays and it can be a constant reminder that your loved one is no longer here.

Our Full Circle partners at the peer support charity WAY Widowed and Young have some advice from their members about how they navigate holidays like Easter:

How about making a list of things to do and letting the child(ren) choose what they would prefer. That way you can let them have a choice but keep things within budget or comfort zones. It can be as simple as going for a walk in a favourite spot and getting hot chocolate after; or watching a movie with pillows and popcorn at home; or some kind of art or craft or baking activity. It beats being begged to do something you don’t want to or can’t afford to do.

Eleanor, WAY Member

“I am thinking of everyone this Easter weekend and sending lots of love. I really struggled last year as it was my second Easter holidays without my husband. I was still in shock and so far away the first year. Last year it really hit me.

“Seeing everyone having a good time with their families & partners reminded me of how much I’ve lost & how alone I feel. I’m lucky to have my family around me but I just feel so alone and empty. No one understands how hard these holidays can be when you are grieving. I miss our time together. If my husband was here now, we would have been down at the beach having the best time together. But I will pick myself up as I always do & get through it.” – Elen, WAY member

My advice to other bereaved families is to always have hope that things can get better as the years go by. I always try and keep my husband’s name alive in every holiday. Doing something we used to do always helps me to cope. Easter will pass and we will get through the hard times & come out stronger, in time.

Elen, WAY Member

Following Elen’s experience, she came up with a list of tips that can help when it comes to coping with grief. Here is what Elen recommends:

  • Taking care of yourself by doing things that make you feel good
  • Watching a good series (something not about love maybe). Try something funny to help lift your mood a bit.
  • Beach walks – hearing the waves can lift the spirits
  • Dog walks
  • Speaking with a friend
  • Getting in touch with other widowed friends or groups like WAY Widowed and Young
  • Hot baths
  • Booking yourself a hotel spa day, if you’re able to
  • Cooking your favourite food, including ice cream (a lot of ice cream!)
  • Walking in the park
  • Reading a book to escape from reality for a while
  • Try practising yoga and mindfulness

Plan ahead: book travel assistance, if you need it. Be prepared to come home early. Celebrate how you wish to either with a egg hunt, church service or ignore it altogether.

Sophie, WAY Member

Former WAY member, Gavin shares his Easter adventure with his son that revealed three important things after he lost his wife and mother to his son.

“My son Magnus and I embarked on a big adventure last year – a trip to New York during the Easter holidays. It was such a surprisingly wonderful time, and despite Nat’s absence, we discovered three important things. First, we realised that, if we can do this, we can go anywhere. Second, even thought Nat wasn’t there, we could still have a good time. Lastly, we got to spend the holiday as Magnus and dad, without carrying the weight of sadness on our shoulders.

“New York was a turning point for me. Every day, the healing process gets a little bit easier. Instead of being trapped in the void of what we lost, we choose to focus on what we had – a truly spectacular life together. Honouring Nat’s memory means making sure that Magnus continues to be a boy filled with humour and a sense of adventure.” – Gavin

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About WAY

The WAY Widowed and Young community offers a safe space to talk to other people (both with and without children) who understand how it feels to be widowed at a young age.

Find out how WAY can support you at

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