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How to deal with grief during the holidays

A grief support center is offering tips on how to navigate the holiday season while grieving.

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio — We often focus on the joy of the holiday season but for some, this time of year can be difficult.

“That calendar from Thanksgiving through the end of the year is really brutal,” explains Cornerstone of Hope Founder and CEO, Mark Tripodi.

“You have to really walk in somebody’s shoes or really experience it to understand it’s a tough time,” says Tripodi. 

Tripodi lost his 3-year-old son, Bobby, nearly twenty years ago.

“The holidays are supposed to be about family and tradition and everybody being together and when you lose somebody that you love, you feel like that’s been torn away,” says Tripodi. 

The Tripodi family started Cornerstone of Hope--a grief support center.

They offer a wide range of programs to help people cope with the death of a loved one. Tripodi has advice for dealing with loss this time of year. 

  1.  Acknowledge your grief.
  • “There’s not something wrong with you when you’re grieving or you’re sad or you’re lonely because of a life change, there’s something right with you, that’s the normal response.”
  1. Be patient, you don’t have to do all the things you used to.
  • “If you are able to do them and that brings you peace and comfort, no problem but if it’s just too difficult or you don’t have the energy, it’s okay.”
  1. Ask for help from a co-worker, close friend or family member.
  • “A lot of times we think they’re mind readers and they know exactly what we’re going through but we still have to ask for help.”

The Cleveland Clinic also has advice on how to cope with “the holiday blues.”

  • Try something new. Take a vacation with a family member or friend.
  • Spend time with people who care about you.
  • Volunteer your time to help others. Spending time with those in need can help you feel less isolated.
  • If you are religious, take time to reflect on the spiritual significance of the holidays.
  • Try to appreciate the good things you have now instead of focusing on the past.
  • Stay active. Get out. Go for a walk. Window shop.
  • Accept feelings of sadness or loneliness. These feelings might not go away just because it's the holidays.
  • Get help if you need it. Don't be embarrassed to ask for help any time of the year.