Labor Day Weekend and Grief

It’s Labor Day weekend in the States – these holidays can be doubly hard when you’re grieving. Someone is missing. Everyone else is out celebrating or having adventures, and you’re the only one who seems to remember there’s a gaping hole at the table.

You get invited to the holiday cookout, but then feel like you’re in a fishbowl, with people watching to see if you’re “still sad” or “seem to be doing okay.” You don’t get invited, and feel like the witch in the fairytale that everyone’s afraid of.

There’s no one easy solution, of course. Celebratory holidays are rough. Add back-to-school season into that, and well – it’s kind of impossible.

Do what you can to care for yourself – tell your friends you’re struggling. Avoid events if that feels better. Tackle a project to keep your mind from rehearsing things that make you feel worse.

You can also ignore this made up holiday all together (or do something that acknowledges its actual roots: leave a bigger tip, or be extra kind to folks working this weekend, or donate to those working for workers’ rights).

There’s no one right way. Acknowledge what’s true for you, whether that’s pain, loneliness, or even joy at being with others (right alongside your grief). Just like any other day, take things one moment at a time.


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