Dealing with grief during the holidays

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala –  Many believe the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. But that’s not true for everyone, especially those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. In fact, depression can be worse this time of year. It’s something Susan Leshinski knows all about.

“I lost my brother in 2014 and he was my very best friend in the world,” she explained.

She loves the picture of her and her brother finishing a marathon, which they ran together after he won a battle with leukemia.

“We finished holding hands with our hands up in the air,” she exclaimed.

He was diagnosed with lung cancer a few years later and he passed away in July 2014. When the holidays rolled around a few months later, it was rough for her.

“It was so hard,” she remembered.

She joined Grief Share, a support group at Willowbrook Baptist Church, and she’s happy she joined the group.

“I’m so glad that I had venue to experience and share with others,” Leshinski stated.

The Willowbrook group has some tips for getting through grief during the holidays. They say it’s okay not to take part in all the traditions you shared with your loved ones. Also, the group says to not feel pressured to do a lot of Christmas shopping or attend holiday parties.

Leshinski agrees with the advice from the group.

“It’s going to be different this year and you’re going to have highs and lows and, just go with it,” she said.

She says it’s better to experience pain, instead of pushing it down, and she wants people who are grieving to know there is hope.

“Just know this is a season, grief is a season, and when you experience all the different stages that you’ll go through, which we talk about in Grief Share, you’ll realize sometime, ‘I’ll get to the other side,’ and even though it still hurts it’s not all consuming like it was at first,” she explained.

If you or someone you know would like to attend the grief support group here at Willowbrook Baptist Church, those meetings will begin again the first Monday in January.

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