People Handle Grief in Different Ways

The holidays are a time for family and traditions, and it’s common to experience grief associated with the memories a lost one.

According to Dr. Phil Epstein, a psychologist at Partners for Behavioral Health & Wellness in Beachwood; Dr. Jeff Turell, founder and medical director at Strive Mental Health in Shaker Heights; and Dave Zavasky, program manager of Dual Diagnosis, Transitional Youth Services & the Jail Treatment program at Crossroads Health in Mentor, everyone experiences and deals with grief in differentl ways.

“Coping skills are the same as we would use in any kind of grief work,” Epstein said. “You can certainly talk about the person no longer here or you can reminisce about memories with that person and you can somehow try to incorporate memories and traditions of that person into the next generation. When we’re looking forward, it helps us when we look backward. Also, it’s important to stay active and be with people who love and care about us.”

Zavasky said, “The first thing we have to be is honest with ourselves, especially if this is the first time we’re going through the holiday season without the loved one. It is accepting that it will be different and there is nothing you can do about that. The more we try and fight that, the harder it will be to cope with that grief. It is one of those often unspoken things, and it is hard to grasp for some people.” more…