Help Those Experiencing Loss This Holiday Season

Trying to comfort someone who's lost a loved one is hard enough any time of year, and it becomes even more challenging when the holidays roll around.

For Judy Brost, remembering her 25-year-old daughter who died four years ago in August is easy.

"She was very creative," Brost said, "and energetic and outgoing and a lot of fun."

But Brost said coping is hard, especially when trying to find joy during the holiday season.

"You feel like you should be happy," Brost said. "Everyone around you makes you feel like you should be happy. You have this bit of loss and emptiness inside of you."

Aspirus Bereavement Coordinator Amy Kitsembel said one of the best things you can do to help someone experiencing loss is bringing up good memories and saying their name.

"Nothing can be harder for the bereaved if no one has remembered," Kitsembel said.

Kitsembel said when people lose a loved one they often feel numb during the holidays because they focus on the grieving process.

"Our brains and bioligies have us on overload because somthing significant has happened," Kitsembel said.

That's why on Tuesday, Dec. 3, Aspirus has set up an event named, "The Good, The Bad And the Ugly: How to Re-Invent the Magic After Loss." It's open to the public, and five five people who've experienced loss will share their story.

The event is for anyone who wants to learn more about the grieving process or learning how they can be there for someone going through it this holiday season.

"I think that's one of the most important things to do," Kitsembel said. "is know that they they mattered."

Brost is one of the panelists sharing her story.
She said she's stronger now with the help of a local program Wings and hopes she can help others experiencing loss.

"I don't know if i am strong," Brost said. "You realize that life goes on around you."

Kitsembel said the little things are what help someone going through loss get through the process. For example, little things like getting them coffee, calling them, sending them flowers or inviting them over for dinner.
Letting them know you care not only for their lost loved one but also for them in their grieving process is important, too.

"The Good, The Bad And the Ugly: How to Re-Invent the Magic After Loss" goes from 7-8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Rothschild. The event is Free and no registration is required.

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