Holiday Grief

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

For most people, holidays are special days spent with family and friends and can bring back a flood of happy memories. However, for others, happy memories are dulled by the pain and sorrow of experiencing the holidays without a loved one who has died. Dr. Edward Hill looks at grief in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Holidays and special days can be difficult for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. At a time when everyone is supposed to be happy and enjoying themselves, the bereaved can feel sad, lonely and depressed.

There are ways to help you cope with your grief during this time. Take care of yourself. Exercise reduces stress and can increase your sense of well being. Eating a balanced diet gives your body strength and energy. Getting adequate rest maintains your physical and emotional strength. And avoid excessive drug or alcohol use. These will only postpone the painful feelings, not eliminate them.

Some bereaved individuals feel guilty if they find themselves enjoying an activity, but feeling good and laughing is your bodys way of letting you relax and regain some strength. It is a normal and healthy reaction.

Rather than grieving your loved ones death, do something special on the holiday to celebrate his or her life. Give a gift to someone in need in their memory.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.