The last few Thanksgivings have been especially tough for our family, ever since we lost our dear niece. She was a naturally bubbly person who loved the holidays and family gatherings. Her birthday falls near Thanksgiving Day, and so we feel a profound loss each time we come together.
Although I don't suffer from depression, I know many Christians who do, especially at this time of year. Realizing that the next few weeks are going to be emotionally challenging for some of us, I'd like to recommend these resources from people who are accustomed to battling the blues:
Find God's Hidden Gift in Your Pain
Wrapped within our suffering is one of God's most precious gifts. When we learn to give thanks in everything, we discover intimacy with God. Find out how to be grateful even in the midst of pain and sorrow.
When Grief Comes Home for the Holidays
If someone you love is experiencing grief this holiday season, Nancy Schimelpfening, About.com Guide to Depression, has some great advice for offering support. If the grieving person happens to be you, Nancy's tips will help you help yourself. She reviews the grief process and suggests "what to do" and "what not to do." One of the best tips is to remember that each family member may be at a different stage of grief, so we should be sensitive to each individual's needs.
Surviving Grief During the Holiday Season
Angela Morrow, RN, About.com Guide to Palliative Care, gives several strategies for coping with illness, grief, or the loss of a loved one during the holidays. An important suggestion Angela makes is to seek support from family, friends, your church community, a local hospice agency, or a support group. Having someone to talk to about your feelings is one of the best ways to get through the painful times.
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