How do you plan a New Year when the one you love is not there?

This is the time of year when much of the discussion revolves around people’s plans for the New Year. Here in the Southern Hemisphere it makes good sense. One academic year has ended and another is about to begin. Many people have a lovely holiday. It is as if everything has worked up to that point and a lovely summer shutdown with all the public holidays is a wonderful opportunity to relax and reset. Going back to work/school is a whole new world. It is natural to review the year that has been and plan the year to come. Or at least decide what you would like to do in that year.

At this time of year it seems that everyone is talking about their plans for the year ahead. All the things they are going to do, wonderful of course. All the plans they have.

What do you do when the new year you have is not the one you want?

But you have experienced a loss. When each day is daunting, how can you set resolutions and make plans for the year ahead?

It can be difficult to get up after experiencing a loss. Facing the day seems so incredibly daunting. Emotions are high and staying in and away from others may feel safer than dealing with them.

All this is natural. Withdrawing is the automatic response of most people.

But here is a thought of what you might be able to do instead.

The Woman With The Disappointing Year in New York

I was reading about a woman who had a scholarship to study in New York for a year. She was so excited. She found herself a lovely apartment on Manhattan and looked forward to all the activities she was going to do while there.

Then she lost something.

It wasn’t the loss of a loved one, but the impact was still devastating. She lost the expectations of her wonderful year. She became very ill and found it hard to do her work or even get through the day. Suddenly her year and all her plans were shattered remnants.

She didn’t lose someone she loved, but she lost the person she was and the year she had planned. She realised this was as devastating for her as when she had lost her brother. The plans and expectations of her future were shattered.

How She Learned To Cope

Having been through grieving for her brother she had some ideas of how to cope. Having been through the worst years of grieving for him and emerging into a world that was less shattered, she realised there was something she could do.

Once she started picking up the pieces after her brother’s death, she found herself thinking of all the things she did with her brother that were good. She discovered things about him and the life they shared to be grateful for.

She never thought she could feel grateful, but she did.

The Challenge of Just Getting Through a Day

In this time where every day was a challenge to just get out the door she realised she could use gratitude to get her through.

If she made it out the door she was grateful for that. If she had to stay in bed she was grateful for those who supported her on those days. When all she could do was lie in bed and listen to music because she was too tired to read, she was grateful for her music.

At the end of the year she had achieved her study aims and lived as much as she could. She had done the things she decided were important and managed some days of just chilling and having fun with friends.

Learning To See Gratitude

Her year had not turned out as she had planned, but it had been a year of achievements, fun and a lot of good things. As time went on she realised that she remembered more the things she had done, than what she had been unable to do.

It was the same with her brother. Looking back over his life she remembered the good things. Yes it hurt, but she had survived.

This Path is Never Completely Alone

Another thing she realised is that in both memories – the year in New York and her brother’s life – there were people who walked alongside her and supported her. Not always, but often enough.

You are facing a New Year without the person you love. This year is going to be one of surviving. Of learning to live with their loss and grieve. Of learning to live again, eventually.

Along the way you will find people who care and want to be there for you. That might not be all the time, it might be someone you encounter in a day who is there and gone, but they were there to support you for that moment. Don’t be afraid to let in the people who are able and willing to support you. Be willing to ask for help and the support you need.

Just as other people see the New Year as a time of new beginnings, know that you are in a time of transition and new beginnings as you grieve for what you have lost. Don’t be afraid to step out into that new beginning. Find the time occasionally to be grateful for what you have. Some day in the future you may look back and see gratitude for what was there in your life that got you through this year.

Can I Help?

If you would like to talk to me about how I can help you with your grief, please contact me on 0409396608 or

If you would like to learn more, I write a regular newsletter with helpful information, tips, information on courses, and the occasional freebie. At the moment I have a free mindfulness meditation for anyone who signs up to my newsletter. This meditation offers a way to safely explore your feelings and learn to be okay with them. If you would like to subscribe please click on the link here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *