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Coping with the Holidays After the Loss of a Loved One

Award-winning author, Patrick P. Long, shares how he manages the holidays after the loss of his wife

(December 20, 2021) St. Louis, MO – Mourning the loss of a loved one is extremely difficult, especially during the holiday season. As family comes together to celebrate and spend time with one another, the holidays can magnify grief and sorrow – making it difficult for those who have lost a loved one. International best-selling author of “Ordinarily Extraordinary,” Patrick P. Long, details his journey before, during and after the loss of his wife in his page-turning, award-winning novel.


After losing his wife to breast cancer, Long has been raising four children as a single father and widower. “Getting through the holidays after Melanie passed was and is still difficult. The kids and I have had to discover ways to cope with and celebrate the holidays as well as her memory.” Long offers practical tips to help ease the pain of this holiday for those who have lost a loved one. Here are a few of Long’s suggestions:


  • ACKNOWLEDGE the holidays will be different and tough. It’s ok to be sad. Embrace it, but also allow yourself to experience joy. Relish in the love of family and friends that are with you during this holiday season. Recollect previous holidays with your loved one that you’re missing. Enjoy the memories and even the laughter because we all have funny stories about our loved one. This is the greatest gift to yourself and others.

  • PREPARE your loved one’s favorite holiday meal or side dish as part of the holiday celebration. This pays tribute to the one you have lost and is a great conversation starter to share happy memories of your loved one around the table. Rename the meal or dish that honors your loved one and prepare it every year. Another idea, create a memory box or tin. For example, find something your loved one enjoyed such as a particular hard candy that comes in a box or tin. Enjoy the candy and when empty and clean, have each family member write a special memory about your loved one on a piece of paper and put it in the box or tin. Every year, or even during the year, add a memory that you treasure and then the following holiday, read all the memories of your loved one.

  • HONOR your loved one. I support the American Cancer Society and make donations in Melanie’s name. The kids and I do annual fundraisers in honor of her for the American Cancer Society and participate in their Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk. Family, friends, the kids and I create custom T-shirts to honor Melanie, which we wear for the event. Plus, Camp Kesem helped my kids during the hard times while their mother was ill and after. I support Camp Kesem, in honor of Melanie, by spreading the word about their cause, fundraising and speaking at special events for them. So, donating to a charity or supporting a cause your loved one was passionate about is a way to honor them. Or, simply hang their favorite ornament or ornaments on the Christmas tree in their honor. You could even create a themed tree that is a special tribute to your loved one.


  • DECIDE which traditions you want to keep, traditions you want to change and/or create new ones. For instance, instead of preparing the big Christmas Eve dinner that was tradition, order pizza and eat it around the coffee table while watching Christmas specials together. Or, eat another favorite takeout/delivery meal in front of the fireplace as you open stocking stuffers.

  • SELF-CARE. Take time for yourself. If you have children, have someone babysit so you can go out with friends, go to the gym, walk, see a movie or whatever you enjoy doing. Self-care is so important and necessary. It may be tough to find during the holidays, but it's essential to recognize when you need it and act on it.

Patrick P. Long’s enthralling memoir, “Ordinarily Extraordinary,” depicts his story of the final few weeks of his wife’s battle with breast cancer reflecting on illness, love and loss. The book is a unique and rare look into the life, thoughts, and feelings of a husband and father coping with tragedy and seeking a new normal for his family. In the story, Long focuses on setting a positive and uplifting tone and for his family.

About Patrick P. Long
As a child, Patrick P. Long developed an extraordinary passion for writing. Honing his penning skills, Long authored “Ordinarily Extraordinary,” a nonfiction publication detailing his wife’s battle with breast cancer and its effects on him, their children and marriage. A raw, revealing and intense real-life tale, “Ordinarily Extraordinary” became an international best-seller and continues to receive global five-star reviews and endorsements. Long was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri where he is raising his four children and supports the American Cancer Society and Camp Kesem, St. Louis University Chapter. For more information, contact 816.766.5010 or visit

About Paddy P Publishing
Paddy P Publishing, LLC is committed to producing and distributing the finest fiction and nonfiction publications worldwide via printed and digital formats. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, USA with operations in the Kansas City, Missouri metropolitan area, Paddy P Publishing, LLC has swiftly proven itself a well-respected entity in the publishing industry. For more information, contact 816.766.5010 or visit

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