Parenting: ways to help those grieving during the holidays

Getting through the holiday season
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Posted at 3:30 AM, Nov 23, 2021

It is a journey that no person wants to be on....

"Nobody wants," Brittney Poirier started. "I don't want anybody to be in my shoes."

But every day it happens, the death of a loved one. It may be a parent, sibling, grandparent, or friend; we all grieve in different ways.

"Talking about it is a part of the grieving process and a part of expressing how you feel whether it's sad, the happy times, sad--all of that," Tom Grimsley said.

Around the holiday season there is probably a lot of talking, a lot of memories, and feelings can explode. Many can be left wondering how to reach out to someone who may need a shoulder or simply an ear to listen.

"We often feel like we shouldn't bring it up," Jenne Broussard, executive director of Healing House, said. "When we want to do the opposite. Even if it's approaching a child who has just experienced the death of a loved one and saying, "I just hard about your grandmother, I can't imagine what you're going through, I'm here to listen if you're ready to talk", and walking away. Just letting them know that you're acknowledging what happened and that you're here for them when they're ready. That can make a huge difference in the life of a child who has experienced the death of loved one. "

Broussard said, all too often, they see people shut down and not wanting to upset anyone they completely erase that person from their lives. She said simply talking to that person helps make a difference in the grieving process.

"Not tip-toeing around it but developing a conversation around how we make the holidays special in memory of Dad."

It is something two Acadiana moms have learned over the years.

"I try to remind them of things so they can keep him alive and remember him a little," Carrie Gilkey said. "I want them to know that he's a good person and how much he loved them."

"My oldest has the most memories with him," Brittney Poirier said. "She told me this morning, you remember how much my dad like ice cream? I said, I do. He always wanted ice cream after supper."

Poirier said her son, on the other hand, does not have as many memories. He was a toddler when his dad died, and Poirier said he usually just has one request.

"I have a couple of videos of him and his voice....he'll never say he misses his Daddy, but he'll ask if he can see what his daddy looks like. I say, sure bud, here he is."

While there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are tools available to help--not just during the holiday season but all year long.

For more ways on how to handle grief during the holidays and all year long—just click on the link below: