Grieving and the Holidays


As the holiday season approaches, people often reflect on their childhood experiences and family traditions. They become mindful of how things used to be. When someone experiences a loss of a loved one, celebrations, decorations and holiday traditions are often triggers that can make people more aware of how things used to be and how they have changed. OCH Health System’s, Brad Powers, PsyD, gives us some helpful hints on how to cope with grief during this holiday season.

  • Decorate to remember – Set up an area in your home. It can be the dinner table or the mantel; either way, make a special area to celebrate and remember the lost family member.
  • Talk about them – You can celebrate your loved one by recognizing or talking about them openly to each other.
  • Take time to remember them – Take a moment to remember your loved one. Individually, or as a group, be sure to take some time to remember and celebrate the memory of your loved one.
  • Write a letter – Write a letter to your loved one and seal it. When you feel it is an appropriate time, open it and read it out loud to yourself.
  • Light a candle – You can light a candle at the start of the holidays. This candle can be a physical representation and a way to honor and remember your loved one.
  • Special mementos – Hang a special ornament on your Christmas tree or bring out a special photo of them.
  • Be Mindful – Be mindful of the loss and experience the process of grieving.

Brad Powers, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist with the OCH Medical Offices Clinic in Springfield, Mo. With more than 28 years’ experience, Dr. Powers can see adult patients and specializes in mood, anxiety and PTSD disorders. Additionally he holds a certificate in Primary and Behavioral Health Care Psychology. He can provide psychological assessments related to a variety of referral needs. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Powers, contact the OCH Medical Offices Clinic at 417-875-4682.



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