‘Tis the Season: Bereavement and the Holidays

MacKenzie Wallis Therapy

During my time working in an emergency room providing crisis counseling to patients and families, I found one day to be harder than any other all year. This day was Christmas Eve. One particular year, there seemed to be more than the average death on this holiday. As a social worker providing crisis counseling in the ED, I would go with the physicians to inform the family of their loved one’s death and then would stay with the family for several hours arranging for them to view the body and of course provide emotional support.

My preconceived notions of how Christmas Eve and Christmas should be made this day an emotional one for me as I feel more than normal for the families at their time of grief. I, like most, struggle with grief and bereavement during the Holidays. It is a time that a loved one’s absence is particularly…

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