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How to Handle Grief During the Holidays


The holidays should be a time of celebration with family, but if you have recently lost someone you love, you may wish you could just fast-forward through the festivities.

If you or a friend are experiencing grief this season, here are 5 tips you may find helpful.

1. Receive help from others. If you are normally the one who handles the holiday tasks, like gift shopping, hosting parties or decorating, try to take more of a back seat this year. For a person who is grieving, it’s almost as if your heart is in the intensive care unit. It’s not your job to be the hero of the holidays; it’s your job to rest and recover, and let others take care of you for a little bit.

2. Be prepared for emotions to emerge. Special times like the holidays bring back memories of loved ones. Whether the loss is fresh or compounded by previous losses, it all seems to come to a head during the holidays. Don’t be afraid to release your emotions with a good cry. Bottled up stress will only make you feel worse, and crying helps to ease the tension and release stress.

3. Pay tribute to late loved ones. When you are missing someone who has died, it always helps to talk about the person and what you loved most about them.

Maybe while the family is together, you could share memories at the dinner table. Or, try hanging a stocking for your loved one and have loved ones stuff it with notes containing their favorite memory of that person. Consider spending time looking through pictures or videos. Honoring the memory of the person is one of the best ways to bring a sense of peace and comfort at a difficult time.

4. Start a new tradition. If continuing the old traditions you shared with your loved one is too painful, start something new this year. Based on how you feel, decide which ones will stay and which ones will go. Remember, you don’t have to do anything that makes you feel overwhelmed, stressed or anxious.

5. Give back. Sometimes, giving back in a meaningful way can also contribute to finding meaning in your loss. Some families decide to run a 5K in honor of their loved one, serve Christmas dinner at the local Salvation Army, or give the money that would have been spent on presents for the loved one to a charitable organization.

Since 1994, Gentry Family Funeral Service has been providing the very best in personal and professional services, with an emphasis on community. They understand that times of grieving are difficult, especially during the holidays. With two convenient locations in Yadkinville and Jonesville, their aftercare staff is ready and available to support you in your time of loss.

For more information about the grieving process, visit GentryFuneralService.com or call (336) 679-7111.

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