Local News

Holidays Difficult for Those Who've Lost Loved Ones

Posted December 18, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Celebrating with friends and family is what this holiday season is all about for most people, but that is the very reason these holidays are so painful for many. People going through their first holiday season after the death of a loved one often find it difficult to cope, as memories make the seasonal cheer ring hollow.

There are, however, ways to fill the emptiness.

Like many, Dorothy Langston has experienced some dark times in her life. Three years ago, her mother and her husband died just a few months apart.

When Christmas rolled around that year, Langston says she didn't feel like celebrating.

This holiday season, many people are experiencing that same type of grief. No matter what time of year a spouse or loved one dies, psychotherapist Bill Edwards says the people left behind tend to think of the joy they've lost.

Langston says there is hope for people grieving right now. In her case, faith and time have eased the pain. Helping other people has also helped her appreciate the good things life still holds for her.

There are things that can be done to lessen the pain of a holiday without loved ones. Experts say it helps to talk about grief. They also suggest changing the routine that can make the memories more painful. Exercise is also suggested as a means to feel better.