Tips on how to cope with loss over the holidays

Mass Appeal

(Mass Appeal) – For people who have lost a loved one, the holiday can be very difficult. Ken Dolan DelVecchio, author, therapist, and Clinical Social Worker is joining me today with tips on how to cope with loss over the holidays.

What can you do for someone who is grieving?
Do:
o Acknowledge the loss: “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
o Listen compassionately if they’d like to talk.
o Offer to help with tasks such as grocery shopping, pet care, meal prep.
o Stay connected (It can be challenging to be with a loved one who is in great emotional pain).
o Invite them to holiday events but respect their limits if they choose to decline or participate less than fully.
o Allow them as much time as it takes for them to grieve.

What should you avoid doing?
Don’t:
o Try to make them feel better.
o Say things like “they’re in a better place now.”
o Try to compel them to participate in holiday events that they say they’d like to sit out this year.
o Judge their feelings or the duration of their grief.

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