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Feelings of Grief and Loss can be Heightened During the Holidays

During the holiday season, individuals who are grieving the death of a loved one – whether recent or long ago could face a hard time. 

The celebrations and family gatherings once a time of happiness can be full of painful memories and reminders

Grief is a normal response to loss. Here are some suggestions to make this season easier

Be understanding and supportive if someone wants to do things differently this holiday. People find strength in long established traditions, and others may choose to avoid customs of the past and do something new. Dealing with loss is an individual experience, let them take the lead.                                                                  

Avoid the Advice of “Get Over It”. Try not to discount people’s emotions, instead, give the person hope that eventually, he or she will enjoy the holidays again.

Be willing to listen.  Don’t avoid someone because you don’t know what to say. Listening alone can help someone cope with grief or overwhelming feelings of loss.

Don’t be afraid to remember someone who has died.  When someone is grieving, it is okay to let them know that you also are thinking of the person who has passed.

Follow up after the holidays- Given the activity of the season, some people may make it through the holidays without any issues, but find the post-holiday period more difficult without the planning and activity of celebrations.