Coping with Loss during the Holidays

The holidays can be a time of joy and happiness but for many it can also be a time of grief. Even though we are surrounded by happy music, bright lights and other people having fun, deep down many people are fighting an internal battle. Whatever age or point in your life you may be at, grieving the loss of a loved only, especially during the holidays, is a daily struggle.


What is grief?


According to the Mayo Clinic, “grief is the natural reaction to loss.” Grief can be experienced in many different stages, and everyone handles grief differently. The important thing to remember when you are experiencing the loss of a loved one, is that your feelings and emotions are valid; what you are feeling is a normal human response. Grief may last months or years but understanding why you are experiencing grief and seeking professional help can make the process more bearable.


Grief comes in many different stages and forms. Each type of grief is experienced at a different stage during the mourning process. Here are a few types of grief and descriptions of what one may experience:


  1. Bereavement: the mourning process after someone close to you dies.
  2. Loss: the acting of losing someone or something such as a job or moving to a different city.
  3. Acute Grief: this is the initial feeling after losing a loved one.
  4. Complicated Grief: when the feeling of grief begins to take over your everyday life and thoughts. These feelings cannot be controlled and usually occur when one experiences loss of a meaningful relationship. It is suggested that one seeks help if grief is debilitating to their everyday life.


Grief may be easy to recognize to some, but if you are unsure, here are a few symptoms of acute and complicated grief:


  • Acute Grief: feelings of distress, nausea, muscle weakness, sadness, fear, feeling empty inside, insomnia, panic, and many more.
  • Complicated Grief: isolation, depression, not being able to continue daily activities, not being able to accept the death of your loved one, constantly thinking about the person and their death, and many more.


If you or a loved one is suffering from the loss of a loved one and think you may benefit from outside help, contact a treatment facility for help. To learn more about the breadth of services offered at Havenwood Behavioral Health, visit call us at (864) 660-6217. With proper treatment and support, you can learn to cope with this loss.