How to help those grieving during the season

How to help those grieving during the season

Dealing with grief during this time of year is hard. There is a big learning curve with grief.

This time of year, so many of us say, “Happy Holidays.” But for those dealing with loss or have feelings of grief that continue to resurface, it can be a very trying time.

Essentia Health has some advice, if you’re going to be attending events.

Gina Dixon, the Program Manager of Grief Support Services, shared that there’s real value in planning ahead. “Have a plan and being willing to communicate that plan. For example, maybe driving separately to a gathering, in case you want to leave early. You may need to cut things short or do things differently.”

It’s a big learning curve she said. “There is so much pressure to be happy ,and it can really feel out of sync for people who are grieving.”

As for what to say to someone, you could start with, “I’ve been thinking of you. And then be a good listener, don’t feel like you should talk over them because you’re anxious,” Dixon added.

How to address grief during the holidays

An expert shares advice on how to support someone who is grieving during the holidays.

There is the annual Tree of Lights event at Essentia, which is a way to celebrate a loved one.

“It’s still an opportunity to slow down, and there are some activities. People can make an ornament, and take it home with them. And sharing stories in community can be so healing,” Dixon added.

The Trees of Light event is Sunday, at 4:30pm at Essentia Health.