VIDEO: Coping With Grief And Loss During The Holidays
LOUISVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – The holidays are supposed to be a happy time of year, but for some it’s different.
For many people who have lost a loved one, grieving can be harder this time of year.
Recently, there’s been a lot of tragic and unexpected loss in our area. When it takes place right around the corner from Christmas, how do you deal with it?
This Christmas will be a lot different for Jennifer Smith. Since last January, she has lost five family members, ranging from the ages of 10 up to around 80 years old.
“It is harder because you have the times you would celebrate with them, and the different occasions where you would spend time with them, and you don’t have those, and one side of the family is completely taken on my husband’s side.”
That’s a situation counselor Andrew Levine is familiar with. He says the first step to dealing with grief is understanding it.
“There’s an interesting way people smarter than me have described it. It’s the presence of an absence that you know something is missing, and it’s sometimes hard to explain what.”
Levine says accepting the loss of a loved one and redefining the relationship with that person, is how to work through that five letter word.
“Loosing a child, loosing a family member, you know the teacher in Eupora for example, it’s how do you ever go back to the way things were? And again, I think if you fight it, you force it, things are going to be a lot harder because you’re going to end up disappointed, which would only further complicate what you were already feeling.”
For Jennifer Smith, she’s seen sudden loss and ones with time to prepare for. She says having a strong faith and family is what’s helping her cope.
“You just have to make it the best you can. Just like with not having them this Christmas, we’ve talked and they wouldn’t want you to sit back and dwell on it, and cry and not try to enjoy it. They were happy people.”
Levine says he gets more calls about dealing with grief during Christmas.
Counselors are always available, and there is also a Community Counseling Services Crisis Hotline.
It’s available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
The toll free number is 888-943-3022.