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Readers Respond: Tips for Coping With Grief During the Holiday Season

Responses: 4

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Updated November 24, 2009

No one knows better how to cope with grief during the holiday's than someone who is experiencing it. My grandmother still volunteers every Thanksgiving at the same homeless shelter she and her husband volunteered for every year before his death. She describes the experience as a "salve for the wounds of grief". Have you found a way to work through your holiday grief? Share your tips with others.

Come Together

I lost my mom May 23rd of this year. As the holidays approached, I noticed that many dear people within our circle of family & friends have died this year; 16 in fact. I got the idea to host a holiday luncheon (dutch treat, but I organized it, sent the invitations, & am preparing table favors) & invited the close female relatives and friends to join me. I printed lovely invitations & included a note of explanation, & the response has been wonderful; I was afraid the gesture might be viewed as strange, but I have 25 women attending. Not sure just how it will go; we'll just go with the flow. If it seems attendees would like to reminisce roundtable style about their loved ones, we'll do that. If they'd rather treat it as any holiday get-together as a distraction, we can do that too. The important thing is that we will be surrounded by love, support & understanding. The ony problem I've encountered is men that want to come, too! It's even been suggested that our 'support group' be ongoing
—Guest Lucy-Lar

Find a professional to help

The holidays are difficult for most of us but with the complication of grief it can be monumental just to get up in the morning. Many hospice agencies have grief therapists available, which can help relieve some of the pain. Just give them a call and ask what is available. From the desk of Joanne Harvey MSW author of Dying to Live: Embracing the Journey. http://www.dyingtolivestorie.com An inspirational book about living life to the fullest even with a life limiting illness. Plus it's filled with resouces and information to help someone caring for a loved one suffering from a terminal illness.
—Guest Joanne Harvey MSW

Grief

I just wish I was able to talk about him to my family.
—Guest Lori Pieszala

They will always live on in your heart

No matter what, your loved on that has passed will always live on in the hearts of those around them. They are still watching over you and they are proud of how strong you are. It is OK to cry. It is OK to talk about them. And it's OK to laugh, they want to see you smile, and they don't want to see you miserable. The holidays are definitely the hardest parts of the year, because they aren't there with you. But as long as you remember them through pictures, stories, leaving a seat at the table open for them, visiting their gravesite, etc...they will always live on in you forever!
—kbck84
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