Amarillo licensed counselor offers tips for those grieving during the holidays

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Christmastime brings with it holiday cheer and time with those that we love most.

But for some, it’s the first time celebrating it without them.

“I think the holidays can be really tough when you’ve lost a loved one,” said Kristen Barrick, Licensed Professional Counselor.

Barrick offers up what she tells some of her clients dealing with grief during this time.

“There is no normal way to grieve. You’re not doing it wrong or you’re not doing it right. Just going through the emotions, it’s cliché to say that it takes time but that is one thing that can help, just allowing yourself to feel the emotions. Some people experience anger with their grief and that’s ok,” said Barrick.

Also, that it’s ok to cry.

“Crying is something that can be really good for our bodies to release hormones that can only come out through our tears. I tell people all the time, it is ok to shed some tears. I have Kleenexes in my office for that,” said Barrick.

Barrick says that noticing if a family member or friend who’s grieving is acting a little bit differently can be a big help as well.

“It’s ok for you to ask them how they’re doing. How are you? Are you ok? Then you can say, here’s why I’m asking because I’m noticing this. It’s up to the person if they want to talk you about it or not but letting them know that the door is open for you, that they can come and talk to you at anytime, that you’re comfortable talking about that,” said Barrick.

Also, just talking about it with someone can make all the difference too.

“Whether that’s with another family member, whether that’s with a therapist, whether that’s somebody at your church or in your friend group. Knowing that you can go and talk to somebody can help you get through those difficult emotions that come with grief,” said Barrick.

Barrick says another helpful way to process grief is to re-create a holiday tradition that you had with the person you lost and do it in a new and meaningful way.

For those that just need someone to talk to or need some help during this time, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or you can also text the hotline by texting “HELLO” to 741741.

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