We all cope with grief in different ways, but the holiday season can set off emotions that can be extremely difficult to deal with alone.

“For many individuals, intense grieving is often centered around those times of year — birthdays, anniversaries, holidays — when we miss our loved ones even more,” said Monica Farrar, a licensed mental health counselor and private clinician in Williamsville. “When you lose someone close to you, it’s not uncommon to lose interest in celebrating holidays and special occasions because these events magnify your loss.

“While these times may be sad, it is OK to smile and have moments of peace and even laughter. It is OK to remember and honor your love and loss, accept the reality of the situation and allow yourself to feel all emotions, including both joy and sadness.” 

It’s also important to know that you are not alone in this situation, and talking about your experiences will help you integrate the loss into your life. Staying connected to others allows you to get through this challenging time.

“The period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s can be a difficult stretch of time,” added Farrar. “It’s not unusual to feel sad, lonely or overwhelmed. But with the support of friends, family or a trained professional, you can and will get through the holidays. Instead of trying to avoid your grief, lean into it because grief is the way out of pain.”

For more information, to schedule an appointment or to have a conversation with Monica Farrar, please call 250-9831. Her office is located at 1967 Wehrle Drive, Suite 1, in Williamsville.