Heartbeat : Dealing With Grief & Loss During the Holidays

LUBBOCK, TX - The holiday season can be a tough time of year for many people who may be dealing with a recent death of a loved one.

"Grief affects every part of our life. our social, physical, emotion, spiritual, all of it," Doyle Patterson said.

Patterson is the senior chaplain for Palliative Medicine for Covenant Health.

"I encourage those who've had a loss to not be afraid to talk about their loved one, and they say 'I don't want to because I'm going to cry.' and tears are ok," Patterson said. "They're very normal, they're natural."

Patterson said it's important to deal with your grief and loss, but he said it can take some time.

"I would encourage people to be patient with themselves, to take care of themselves and to understand their emotions are real, their feelings are real, their tears are real and OK, and the laughter is OK," Patterson sad.

He recommends finding someone to talk to when you're dealing with grief. He said that support can come from professional help, a grief support group, or just someone you know you can talk to.

"At the holiday times, if you're experiencing grief, don't stay alone," Patterson said. "Seek people out, be with them, people you know will listen to you."

He said it's important to grieve because doing that can help your overall health.

"If you don't, your emotions become internalized, they get stuffed," he said. "At some point it will come out, and it will usually come out in a negative way, exploding at friends and family in anger and those types of things, so it's healthier to have someone walk with you who understands as you walk through it, and there's no time frame for that healing."

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