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Q: How can I deal with grief during the holidays?

Posted December 04, 2013 in Advice Column, Perry

A: Holidays can be especially difficult times following the death of a loved one. If you have lost a loved one, HCI Hospice Care Services offer some suggestions to help you get through the tough times.

• Allow yourself to be human. Do the things that are most important to you. Keep some traditions, discard others. If you normally spent the holidays at home, consider going to your relatives this year.

• Do your best to not engage in over-cooking, over-cleaning, over-shopping, over-visiting, over-eating, over-drinking, etc. Let others know you need support, help, time or just quiet on that particular day. Even a few minutes away from guests can allow you time to shed a few tears and collect yourself. Get enough rest and exercise.

• Helping others when you hurt can make you and the person you help feel better. Serve a meal at a homeless shelter, provide for a needy family, volunteer at a hospital or participate in a service club.

• Find a way to remember your loved one. Visit the cemetery or light a candle during the holidays, and tell everyone this candle is in memory of your loved one. Tell stories about your loved one, and enjoy favorite memories.

• Finally, allow yourself to have some fun, and remember your loved one would want you to enjoy the rest of your life.

Information provided by Abi Albrecht, LMSW, team director, HCI Hospice Care Services of Central Iowa, 402 12th St., Perry, (515) 465-4705,

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