WASHINGTON – This is supposed to be a joyful time of year, but for those who have lost a loved one, this time of year can hit like an emotional tidal wave.
“The holidays are a reminder for many of what they’ve lost … Because we remember all of those last moments together,” says Ami Neiberger-Miller with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).
She knows first hand the emotional minefield this time of year can bring. Her brother was killed in action in 2007 and the last time she saw him was around Christmas.
She says it’s a natural tendency to pull away from a person who is grieving, which “actually creates more isolation for that person.”
“Continue to reach out, continue to invite them to gatherings and events,” Neiberger-Miller says.
TAPS has several suggestions for someone who is grieving a loved one during the holiday season:
WTOP’s Kathy Stewart contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.
We\’ve gathered photos that capture the spirit, and sometimes stress, of this joyful season. Happy Holidays from WTOP.