The holiday season is an especially difficult and painful time for grievers.

There is always some one important missing from the celebrations and that hurts.

The spotlight is laser focused on happiness and family, and for grievers, whether it be loss or death, that magnifies the pain.

As you endure the holiday season, just know that it’s ok to acknowledge that these times may not be especially happy for you. It’s important to let other people know they aren’t alone in their grief and sadness.

Be gentle with yourself. Try not to put any major expectations on yourself. It’s ok to let others know that you are struggling. This might invite them to do something kind to brighten your day, which in turn, brightens their day.

Being honest about your struggles reminds you that you aren’t alone and it invites others who are struggling to know they aren’t alone either.

And for those of you that the holidays are very happy for, that is wonderful. May you never take for granted that these times are joyous for you but also remember that there are others who aren’t as fortunate.