Mental Health

Holiday Traditions to Help Your Healing Journey

2020 has been a tough year for most. It has been a much harder year for those who have lost loved ones. This Christmas will be an emotionally harder time for those who have suffered loss. Strong feelings of the loss can resurface again, in a holiday season where we are usually filled with joy and celebration. Know that whatever you are feeling, they are your feelings and that is okay, so please be kind to yourself.

Some celebrities that have experienced loss this year:

Dr Phil

Dr Phil will be remembering his nephew this Christmas, William Scott Madsen, Jr. (who most often went by the name Scooter), who passed away in May. He had been battling cancer for many years. He worked as Director of Research for The Dr. Phil Show and The Doctors TV show.

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen suffered the heartbreaking loss of their baby Jack with a miscarriage, in September. “I definitely give myself permission to feel complete and utter grief,” Teigen said. “Every day is so different. So when people ask me how I’m doing I always say I’m OK—today.”

“This has been a lonely time for so many people because we’re all separated physically in so many ways, and just the outpouring of people’s love and concern for us has truly been heartening and lifting for us,” Legend said. Teigen added, “The world is inherently good. I believe people are inherently good, and it’s shown itself.”

Charlie Di Stefano

Australian actor, 17 year-old Charlie Di Stefano sadly lost his 18 year-old brother, Lucca in May.

Instagram: Charlie DiStefano (left) with his brother, Lucca.

Charlie Di Stefano posted on Instagram: “Rest In Peace my amazing brother, Lucca. I Love you so much and I will miss u you forever but I know u will always be looking over me for the rest of my life. Please go give your brother, sister, mother or father the biggest hug and tell them how much u love them. Life is just too short some times, Rest In Peace my brave brother ❤️❤️❤️

Keep on kicking ass in heaven you angel 🕊❤️”

The Lucca Di Stefano Scholarship Foundation was started by the Di Stefano family in honor of Lucca. I contributed to this, you can too, HERE.

Ellen DeGeneres

Loss includes our beloved pets, too. Ellen DeGeneres said goodbye to her dog “Wolf”, who was a part of her family for over a decade.

“Last night we had to say goodbye to our dog Wolf,” the television host, 62, wrote on social media, alongside a photograph of herself and wife Portia de Rossi posing with Wolf on their wedding day, back in 2008.

“He brought us so much love and joy. I hope we did the same for him,” DeGeneres added of the beloved poodle-Maltese mix.

Judge Judy

In April, Judge Judy lost her friend, Jerry Bishop, the announcer for “Judge Judy.”

Jerry Bishop has been the voice of our program for 24 years. Everybody loved him,” Judy Sheindlin said. “He had a golden heart and generous spirit. I adored him and will miss him.”

Jerry Bishop and Joe Faulkner, control room at Judge Judy.

Bishop had been with the daytime program since it debuted in 1994, a role he performed until his final days.

Some holiday traditions to help you on your healing journey:

  • Hold a ritual with a candle and talk about your loved one over Christmas. Get everyone to share a favorite memory they have.
  • Hold a moment of silence and focus on gratitude for the time and love you had with them.
  • Visit their grave or other place you feel close to them.
  • Say a prayer at the dinner table.
  • Give to a charity in their name.
  • Add an extra plate to your dinner table to symbolize your loved one’s presence in everyone’s hearts and minds.
  • Make your loved ones favorite dessert and name it for them.
  • Place a remembrance ornament on the Christmas tree. The ornament could have a photo, or it may  symbolize something meaningful.

Something on this list may spark your own ideas for your own meaningful holiday tradition.

Wishing you love, peace and happiness.

If you need support:

For USA residents:

  • Crisis text line. Text TWLOHA to 741741
  • The national suicide prevention lifeline: Phone: 800-273-8255

For Australian residents:

  • Lifeline ( for anyone having a personal crisis): phone: 131114,
  • Kids helpline (counselling for young people 5 – 25) Phone: 1800 55 1800

Joe Faulkner

Dr certified health coach. Welfare & well-being specialist. Writer. Founder of Good Hollywood.
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