Dealing with a loss, healing through the holidays - – Rockford’s News Leader

Dealing with a loss, healing through the holidays

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It can be hard to mourn a loss during the holidays. You hear the songs, look at the decorations, but all you see is what or who you're missing. Experts say it's about what works for you.

"You're still going to feel your grief, and maybe that's okay." -says Northern Illinois Hospice & Grief Center Bereavement Coordinator Sylvia Sanderson.

What happens after you lose someone can be unpredictable.

"One day they might feel okay and the next day or the next minute their grief might surface." -she says.

If you're going through a tough emotional time, it's best to plan ahead for the holidays.

"People might want to actually do something different and maybe get away because that first year especially when that grief is still pretty raw it might be difficult for them to even honor the tradition they usually did." -says Sanderson.

If you've got children, include them in a special activity. Sometimes they want to remember who's gone.

"You could bake cookies or maybe a special cookie for that person or make some ornaments in their memory."

Sanderson says don't keep the grieving to yourself, others who care about you may be concerned.

"Let them know where you're at, let them know if you're not sure how you're going to be on that day, if you might need to step away for a few minutes."

Maybe you aren't the one struggling, it could be someone close to you. Experts say your being around can be a big help.

"Just let them know that you're there, offer them support by listening, a shoulder to lean on, and don't judge them because there is no right or wrong way to grieve everybody grieves in their own way and there's no time limit on it." -Sanderson adds.

If you feel like you need to talk to someone or just be around people who might understand, The Grief Center is holding a "Getting Through the Holidays Workshop" on December 2nd.

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