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Managing grief with grace

Holidays are filled with traditions, memories and time spent with loved ones, but when those loved ones are no longer here during the holiday season, it can be emotionally hard. Managing grief during the holiday season can be particularly challenging.

Mental and physical preparation are your best tools for managing the feelings that may accompany holidays. While family members, especially children, may want things to be as they’ve always been — the reality is things have changed. This can be a time to create new traditions and memories that honor your absent loved one.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are usually the most challenging holidays of all. You can and will get through the holidays. Remind yourself it is only a few days, or in some cases, a few hours of an event that you must get through. Learn to lean on others that you trust to help you get through the days.

Other things that can help are staying busy with tasks and projects. Sometimes the act of helping others will often make one feel better and even blessed at the things and people they do have in their life.

Staying busy during the holiday does not mean you must forget about your loved one. For some sharing memories with others, lighting a candle in memory, saying a prayer, or posting an online tribute can help with the grief.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to handle the holidays in grief. You must decide what is right for you and do it. You have every right to change your mind — even a few times.

CRYSTAL VANDEGRIFT is a staff reporter for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Her email address is Crystal.Vandegrift@FarmvilleHerald.com.