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BTTF Member shares how she copes with grief during the holidays

By: Betsy Robinson, RN, PHN II

Ten years ago, on December 25th, my mother and my husband’s family came to our home to celebrate the holiday, which had been a tradition for several years. We’d eat dinner, drink homemade eggnog, and would then retire to the living room to open presents and share memories of Christmases past.

At 7:30 pm, I took a picture of my mom, holding up the gifts I had given her and laughing. (We had a tradition of giving each other “silly” gifts each year). At 9:00 pm that same evening, she unexpectedly died in her home.

Dealing with grief at any time can be challenging, but having a loved one pass away on or near a holiday can magnify those feelings and leave you wondering how to cope.

David Kessler (considered the world’s expert of grief and loss), has a website which has multitudes of information and resources, including free webinars and videos for dealing with many types of grief.

His website includes helpful tips, too, such as “Ways to Cope” and “Do’s and Don’ts”. One suggestion which helped me is that I shouldn’t avoid my feelings of grief, but to lean into them, since grief is not just the pain that you feel ~ it also encompasses the love that you feel.

All of us grieve differently and there are many materials available. Please contact the Breaking Through Task Force for information and available resources in our community. We are here to help you and your loved ones during this difficult time.

In Loving Memory of Edith H. Baker

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