The loss of a loved one can make every day difficult for a while.

However, holidays happen to be the toughest times for individuals as well as families.

There is this empty space within you that can’t go unrecognized. Sometimes the person we lose is the glue that holds everything together, and when there gone everyone is affected. In 2002, I lost my mother to breast cancer. The loss of my mother is something I struggle with every day of my life, even now. See, the thing we don’t realize is there is no way to prepare for the loss of a loved one. Even if you know it is coming, life is forever changed. Everything you have known or ever thought is challenged, especially your faith, no matter what your beliefs.

Allow yourself to grieve. Everyone experiences grief, loss and coping differently.

There is absolutely no right or wrong way to do this. Allow yourself to feel sad -- when you need to cry, cry! Let it all out. The loss you experienced isn’t fair, and you have every right to be angry. I can remember days throughout my childhood and even into my adult life that I just need to be completely alone and let every feeling be felt, and just cry.

Maybe being alone isn’t what you like, that’s okay. Surround yourself with people who love you, and love your person just as much as you do. Don’t feel guilty for feeling sad. Holidays can bring up tough memories. You just lost some one so incredibly important to you, so every emotion you have……own it! Give yourself some credit for being strong and continuing to love every day. Allowing yourself to share happy moments with people and talking about the loss is therapy all in itself. It is okay to experience joyful and happy moments during this difficult time, and can also help you in healing.

Do things in memory of this person.

My mother was a teacher, and was an incredible writer. I honestly didn’t find a passion for writing until I got older. It has become an outlet for me that I truly enjoy that reminds me of her. Maybe you used to go hunting with the person you lost, or they were your adventure partner. Maybe they taught you something no one else ever could have. Remember them……every day, and all the beautiful things you got to learn from them.

Always remember to take care of yourself. Mental health is just as important as our physical health.

There is such a stigma towards mental health. If you need help seek it. Life can be very heavy at times and we can’t always get through the muck by ourselves. Asking for help shows you love yourself enough to give yourself access to resources to move in a direction of healing. Repressing sadness will only make you more sad, and no one will ever benefit from this.

Pain from a loss never completely goes away, but it does get better.

Things will never go back to normal, but we create a new normal. New traditions are made, new stories are created. Don’t feel bad for moving in this direction. You will always have the old memories, and never forget them.