Grieving the death of a family member or close friend is hard, exhausting work. This work may be especially difficult during holiday seasons, and other days that are filled with family and community traditions, such as anniversaries, birthdays, and mother’s and father’s days. During these times you may be keenly aware of the empty spot left by the one who has died, whether that death happened recently or years ago.
If your loss is recent, you may dread the approach of a holiday and wonder how you and your family will get through it. While others in your family or friendship circle may share your dread, talking about it with them can be difficult. You may believe that mentioning the empty spot that will be present during the holidays will simply deepen your pain and sadness. The tendency to avoid addressing this empty spot is so common that some have compared it to an elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.
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