Coping with Holiday Grief

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When the whole world is celebrating, grief seems even harder. And Emory psychologist Dr. Nadine Kaslow says sometimes the best you can do, is the best you can do.

"First of all, I do think people need to be patient with themselves.  We sort of know that grief is a process, and it takes time.  But that the first few days and weeks, and months, and even the first year, are really difficult," Dr. Kaslow

If you don't feel much like celebrating, or decorating, or shopping until you drop, Kaslow says don't force it.

"It's also important to be very kind and compassionate to yourself during the holidays. Maybe not push yourself too much physically and emotionally especially that first year," she says.

 Still, familiar holiday rituals can be comforting.  So can creating some new traditions.

"It's important to keep going with the holidays and to honor them.  But it's also important to honor the loss of your loved one during that time," points out Dr. Kaslow.

If you can, get out -- and be with other people -- even if it's just for a short time. 

And brace yourself for triggers that might sneak up on your.

"I think it's perfectly normal and healthy and reasonable that you have those sad time, where you have moments where you really just wish they were there," says Dr. Kaslow "It's actually okay to talk about your loved ones. To share some of those memories. To kind of have them in the picture."