The holidays are full of memories and traditions centered on family and friends. Unfortunately for some, the holidays might be a reminder that their loved ones are not here. Navigating grief can be a difficult journey for many people, but events that gravitate towards gatherings and traditions might be a trigger of that loss.
Grief is a natural response to the loss of people, animals, and other things that might be important to you. Experiencing grief is a challenging yet individual process that goes through a sequence of stages. There are several different grief models available, but the majority of people are familiar with five stages. No matter the model, each one begins with sadness and ends with acceptance.
“Grief is different for everyone,” says Kala Hight, LPC-MHSP Therapist at Centerstone, “Most people do not go through the stages of grief in a specific order. There is also the possibility of re-experiencing stages of grief when triggered by memories of the loss.” It’s important not to assign yourself a timeline when dealing with loss and grief. There’s not a right or wrong way to grieve but rather healthy and unhealthy behaviors. Some unhealthy coping mechanisms might be an increased intake of drugs and alcohol, and some healthy ways might be seeking help from therapy, friends, or family.
The grieving process can feel heavy, so it might be helpful to know how to support someone or yourself if you are finding yourself getting triggered during the holidays. Here are some ways you can help others and remember your loved ones:
The holidays can be a time to cherish your loved one’s memory and explore new ways to share their legacy with friends and family. Know that your grieving process is unique, and you are not alone in it.
If you or someone you know is struggling to move forward with their grief, Centerstone can help. Call 1-877-HOPE123 (1-877-467-3123) for more information.
If you are in crisis, please call our crisis line, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.
If you're still having trouble and would like to reach out to someone about counseling or other Centerstone services, contact us.
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