November 17, 2021
With Thanksgiving marking the start of the winter holiday season, Iliniza (Nisa) Baty, Venice Family Clinic’s director of behavioral health, today offered four tips for helping yourself and others who are grieving the loss of loved ones, especially during this time of year when families and friends traditionally celebrate together.
“For many people, this holiday season may be the first spent without a loved one who died this year,” said Baty. “COVID-19 has taken so many lives and has disrupted the traditional memorial and grief processes. The enormity of grief, isolation and pandemic stress compounds the difficulty of loss and can be especially poignant during the holiday season.”
She recommends the following tips to help cope during the holidays:
For children, adults who can show tears and laughter give the message that having a range of emotions is okay, and that grieving is safe. In addition, sharing family values about life and death with children, discussing how everyone is coping and helping children find ways to memorialize the person who died with a drawing, memory or memento will help them process their grief.
“This holiday season, many of us will be learning how to move forward in a world where our loved ones are absent, how to manage tasks that may have been that person’s responsibility and so many other important skills,” said Baty. “Part of this process is finding meaning in life in light of this death and to recognize that it is okay to feel all the emotions, including sadness, happiness, love, anger, confusion, joy and hope.”
For more information and to become a patient of Venice Family Clinic, please call (310) 392-8636. L.A. County also offers help for people during the holidays. Its Peer Resource Center will be holding online support groups on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day for those seeking connection and support over the holidays. View this flyer for more information and to participate. For additional mental health support and resources, L.A. County has a 24/7 Help Line at (800) 854-7771.