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Expert offers tips on coping with grief during the holidays

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The holiday season can be an exciting time for many, but for those grieving the death of a loved one, they can be especially difficult.

Seasons Hospice Executive Director Kristina Wright-Peterson said grief affects everyone differently.

“Grief can happen very quickly after a loss or it can happen 20 to 30 years after a loss,” Wright-Peterson said. “So, having that awareness is important, especially during this time of year when we’re so used to traditions. This is a time of year where we’re often reflecting on things and memories come out of the blue, and that’s okay.”

Wright-Peterson said it’s okay if the grieving person doesn’t want to participate in parties or other social events. She also said it helps to limit stressful situations.

“When you’re going out and shopping, try and maybe shop when it’s not as busy, or shop online,” she said. “Take a friend with you. Don’t try to manage all those super stressful situations on your own in the same way you would’ve previously, because it will feel different.”

She said if someone knows a person who is grieving it’s important to check on them.

“This is a really good reminder for us as a community to see those people who are grieving,” she said. “We really have to take people where they are, and we really need people to accept themselves where they are.”

Wright-Peterson said it’s also important for a grieving person to reach out for help.

“Having a person to talk to, having a person to listen to you is extremely important,” she said. “And, so whether that’s a friend, a colleague, or reaching out to someone in the community is one the best things you can do for yourself.”

For more information on resources, click here.

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