Breaking News
More () »

Handling Grief During the Holiday Season

It's suppose to be a joyous time, but it can be the opposite for those experiencing loss. Hospice of Northwest Ohio offers help

TOLEDO, Ohio — As many families begin to take in the joy of the holiday season, there are others who might be struggling. 

The sights and sounds of the holiday season can be a painful reminder of cherished times with loved ones who are no longer with us.

"Everyone is different. Their grief experience is individual to them," Maren Simon, a bereavement counselor at Hospice of Northwest Ohio said.

Simon said that while there's no right or wrong way to grieve, there are some strategies folks can consider to help them through the holidays.

First, prioritize. Maybe even make a list of what has to be done. 

"How can we manage that to maybe make it less stressful? Do you send less cards this year? Do you say no to some parties and yes to others?" said Simon. 

Remember, "no." is a complete sentence. You don't owe an explanation. 

If you go to a party, Simon said have an exit strategy, just in case. That could be having a friend call to get you out of the situation. 

Also, Simon said take care of yourself; that means get good sleep, exercise and eat well. 

Simon added that it's good to ask for help and know who you can turn to for support. On the flip side, if you know someone who is grieving, offer them something tangible instead of just saying, 'let me know if you need anything.'

"Can I bring you a meal on this day? This specific food? I can even drop it off at the door, we don't even have to interact even. I've had folks offer to do someone's laundry," said Simon.

Hospice of Northwest Ohio also offers support groups and counseling to anyone who may need it. The services are free, just call to inquire: 419-661-4001.

RELATED: Feeling down? Could be the holiday blues

RELATED: Local library helps people battle Seasonal Affective Disorder

Before You Leave, Check This Out