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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

GriefNet Library: Tips for Handling the Holidays @

I received a request by a local TV station to speak on the matter of grief during the holidays. Unfortunately, I am stuck in an airport terminal so hopefully a few tips posted below may help some. Grief is normal. Grief during the holidays, especially the first holiday without a loved one, is normal. While grief related to the death of a loved one is more commonly thought of, grief related to separation from a loved one is also common. Distance may be that due to geographic distance, emotional distance or spiritual distance. Some may respond to grief in one of three ways--herd, pair up, or isolate. Those who herd seek out family and friends for comfort. Those who pair up seek out another individual whom they perceive to be strong and stable. Those who isolate tend to go into "shut down" or "bunker" mode and close themselves off from the outside world. Remember to be thankful for the time you shared with your loved one. Whether that time was 2 days or 80 years, that time was a gift. Rather than seeing things as a taking away, consider it as a giving. Afterall, there could have been no time offered. We are enriched by any time granted with a loved one. This holiday season, recognize that it's ok not to feel your usual self and even to feel bittersweet regarding what aught to be a joyful time of the year. Grief will get better in time.
from Rajesh Harrykissoon, MD

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