How to cope with the loss of a loved one during the holidays


JOPLIN, Mo. — If you’ve lost a loved one over the past year, your holiday get together may seem different than in years past. KSN’s Stuart Price shows us a way to help deal with some of that pain.

Many of us will gather around the dinner table this Thanksgiving for a celebration of food, family and friends. But if a loved one passed away this past year, the mood at the table will be different than usual.

If you’re thinking about your missing loved one at the holiday dinner table, Joyce Payne says, probably everyone else is too. She says it’s more than okay to talk about them.

“I think often times we try to avoid talking about the person that’s absent, uh but that’s the part that’s healing is still being able to include them in those dinners to have those conversations, I think everybody’s thinking it so we may as well be talking about it and connecting in that, you know when we connect in our grief, that’s how we cope with it, that’s how we get through it, we share in that grief together,” said Joyce Payne, MS, LPC, Mount Hope Christian Counseling.

Many churches have services over the holiday season for just this purpose, to acknowledge those no longer with us. In the Catholic Church, the month of November holds special meaning for those that have passed, and those left behind.

“We at St. Peter’s have a book of remembrance where you can write the names of your departed loved ones and friends, we have a special mass, which we just had this past weekend to honor those that specifically died this year and had a funeral here at St. Peter’s, we have always traditionally believed in the communion of saints which is the interaction between those that are here and those that have gone before us,” said Jeanne Brummet, Parishioner, St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church.

And if the memory of the departed family member gets too much to bear, Payne says that’s okay.

“Give yourself grace and mercy, it might be hard, you might need to leave the room for a moment, maybe you do lose it for a moment, it’s okay to take that time, it’s okay to bow out of family things early if you need to, it’s okay to go to the bathroom and close the door and do what you need to do to, cry it out, what ever you need to do,” said Payne.

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