Coping with grief during the holidays, from the Harvard Mental Health Letter

Each year, more than two million men, women, and children die in the United States, leaving behind loved ones who mourn them. The holidays are often the most difficult time of the year for people who are grieving.

"If the grief is fresh, holiday cheer can seem like an affront and celebrations may underscore how alone people feel," notes Dr. Michael Miller, editor in chief of the Harvard Mental Health Letter. The following strategies, explored in depth in the December 2011 issue, may help people who are grieving to cope with the holidays.

Start a new tradition. During a holiday dinner, place a lighted candle on the dinner table, leave an empty chair, or say a few words of remembrance.

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