How to find grief support during tough holiday seasons
If you feel like you need extra support during tough times of year, it can be helpful to find the people in your circle that are willing to help.
To do so, take some time to figure out who has a true commitment to your wellbeing - ask yourself, “Will they show up for me?” “Will they be consistent?” “Will they allow me to grieve however, whenever, wherever I need to?”
Once you’ve identified who is safe to grieve with and provide support, consider sharing with them what you need this season. There are many things you could ask for support with - housework when you don’t have the energy, someone to sit next to you on the couch while you cry, or a group to create fun experiences that help you commemorate your person.
Dr. Mekel Harris, Ph.D., NCSP, PMH-C, a licensed psychologist/health service provider (HSP) (and CEO of Harris Psychological Services, LLC), currently serves in private practice in the mid-South, offering psychological evaluation and support to children, adolescents, and families. Further, she offers training/education, consultative, and supervisory services to several local organizations throughout the Memphis area. She is a TEDx speaker, blogger, magazine and podcast contributor, and author of a memoir, “Relaxing Into the Pain: My Journey Into Grief & Beyond.”
How to ask for support whether you need self-care or community care
Mekel shares that one of the things she specifically asks for is stories about her dad. “I love hearing stories about my dad. Partly because he liked being the center of attention. And so doing that and talking about him holds him up in that light,” said Mekel. “I actually sent emails to several of my friends, and several of my dad's friends and said, ‘Hey, if there's something that pops up this week, or even a memory or something that you haven't shared about him, email it to us so that we can sort of just know.’ And it's just hilarious to hear all these different things about my dad that I knew and some funny and not so funny things that I didn't know.”
“Just asking people to speak his name, I find that very valuable. It helps me remember that not only did my dad die, but more importantly, he lived and talking about him keeps his legacy and his memory alive.”