Ways To Deal With The Loss Of A Loved One During The Holidays

The first round of holidays without a loved one can be difficult. Calm Waters CEO Erin Engelke joined News 9 this Mindful Monday to talk about how to deal with grief during this time of year.

Monday, November 27th 2023, 10:00 am

By: News 9


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The first round of holidays without a loved one can be difficult.

Calm Waters CEO Erin Engelke joined News 9 this Mindful Monday to talk about how to deal with grief during this time of year.

Robin: The first time without your loved one, you know, it always feels like to me when my mom passed away, everyone said, "This is gonna be brutal, it's gonna be so awful." And it, you can't let that stay in your mind. That can play games with you too.

Erin: Absolutely can it is so overwhelmingly difficult for people to navigate the holidays, you know, without grandma sitting at the table or making her you know, delicious apple pie or whatever it is. Like, those sweet traditions are just so so difficult to cope with. And so it's just really important that we talk about this, because, you know, we hear from a lot of families that come to calm waters, that they just want to literally sleep all the way through the holidays, like they just want to skip over.

They don't even look forward to it. Right? Yes, that's just heartbreaking.

Storme: What are some ways once you identified "Hey, this might be a problem with the holiday season?" What are some ways to kind of cope with that?

Erin: Yeah, well, I think number one is, have a plan, you know, like, think through what you want to do during Thanksgiving or Christmas, or whatever those traditions are.

Maybe you want to honor and celebrate a tradition from mom, dad, grandma, sister, brother, whoever it is that has passed, but maybe you want to create a new tradition. Maybe it's instead of doing what you've always done, you go do something entirely different so that it doesn't feel quite as overwhelming. When those feelings emerge.

Robin: Yeah. It's okay to process it. You know, I feel like I did so well at Thanksgiving and now I'm sitting here going, "Why am I tearing up?"

Erin: I know.

Robin: And my sister and I were laughing about my mom saying she'd have been concerned about something wrong with food on Thanksgiving. And so it's like, and that's what we've chosen to do is like, even though it's hard, and you lose your loved one, it's like, you know, we celebrate it and I'm so thankful for that. But it is okay. Like to process that grief and it is okay to tear up and, and just experience that emotion. Like, you're not bad if you cry or that you get upset about something.

Erin: Absolutely not. I so appreciate you just being vulnerable and sharing that Robin, because,

Robin: Well, you got me. I don't even know why but gosh, I'm gonna break right now.

Erin: Well, but I mean, the truth of the matter is that grief comes in waves. And it can be triggered with literally anything. It could be a sight, a sound, a smell, you know, all kinds of things.

And it's okay to feel whatever it is you need to feel in those moments and not to feel an obligation because somebody else says, just, you know, "you'll be fine. You'll be fine. Come on, you know, get over it."

There's no getting over it.

Robin: I think that was the one thing that my sister and I we a year ago, after our mom had passed away, we just said, "We're gonna have a great holiday last year." And then we did that this year, too.

I think for me, that helps so much because it was hard when people would say it's going to be so tough. Then I'm thinking, Oh, my gosh, and I bad because it wasn't so wasn't so tough, right? You know what I'm saying?

Erin: Yeah.

Robin: You guys offer so much help. How can folks get in touch with you and your app,

Erin: Please reach out at CalmWaters.org We're actually offering a free grief workshop or booklet, really, so to speak for those who are just wrestling during the holidays, not knowing how to handle their grief. So just visit us a calm.waters.org Or give us a call.

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