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Tips for those grieving during the holidays after the loss of a loved one

(KWQC)
Published: Dec. 22, 2018 at 8:45 PM CST
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The holidays can be a difficult time for those who have lost a loved one. Erling Larson a retired physician, and a grief group facilitator for "Grief Share" at Heritage Church in Bettendorf and Rock Island.

He says grief groups offer tools to help who are grieving understand that healing is possible and that feeling joy again is possible. A grief group is "a combination of a support group, it's an education group where we learn from education videos. It's a 13-week program," says Larson.

Larson says the most important thing is not to hold back our emotions.

as "all of us were taught verbally or non verbally." He says it's important to realize it's ok to feel the pain and to be honest with your emotions

He offers

four tips for people who need some tools to help them cope this holiday season.

"

The first and most important thing is just to plan ahead

to know that the holidays are an emotional time and that you're going to feel extra emotion and pain and that's ok because that's normal. But if you plan ahead and are flexible and know which activities might be too much this year which are going to be just right, which things have to be eliminated. so that's the first thing."

"And the

second thing what's something you can do to honor the one you have lost.

and if you can

choose to carry those memories of that cherished one close to your heart that would be the third thing.

and the

fourth thing would be to do something for somebody else

because choosing to help choosing to give of yourself is healing," Larson told KWQC.

He says when it comes to friends and family members who want to offer support "sometimes there are no right words to say and simply letting someone know that you are there for them and that you care that's the most important thing."

Larson says overall there are a lot of resources just for grief recovery in the Quad Cities area.

"There's a project we have at heritage church called "grief share." almost every hospice program has grief recovery resources most funeral homes have grief resources even life insurance companies offer resources. But if someone is in immediate need for help. let's say they're so depressed because of losing a loved one that they're thinking of suicide. they need help immediately, they should call 9-1-1 they should call their local hospital emergency. they should not be alone. they should call a close friend a close family member 23:29:32 their doctor, their pastor, their counselor, or the suicide hotline."

The number for the national suicide prevention lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

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