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Grieving? Feel free to alter holiday traditions

John Bullis
For the Nevada Appeal

All of us know of someone who has suffered from grief. Grief is personal.

The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. We all go through the stages of grief in different ways and at different times…sometimes not in that order.

The person suffering from grief may have physical symptoms. They might have aches, pains, loss of sleep, get more colds, gain or lose weight, feel worn out and nausea.

Sometimes the grieving process gets extended, sometimes it is interrupted. The process can go on for a long period of time.

You may know someone who did not seem able to resume their normal life. They may isolate themselves from family and friends.

The holidays can be very hard for the person grieving. Everyone else seems happy and full of joy, but they are not yet over their grief.

One answer is to “choose” who to spend the holidays with, what activities or traditions to do. Maybe acknowledge the missing loved one with a holiday toast or a moment of silence. Perhaps a special ornament on the tree could be done in remembrance.

Another answer is to “communicate” by discussing your choices with family and others.

Grief is a personal matter. It may be some will want to do the same routine as in prior years, but it’s also OK to take a break from the customary celebrations.

Another answer might be to “compromise”. Everyone deals with loss differently. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Understanding we are all different can help to give hope to the grieving person.

It’s OK to talk about the problem and/or the grief. We should not judge how others go through the grieving process. Your support can help more than you could ever know.

If grief turns into depression, get qualified professional help, treatment, etc.

Did you hear the church bulletin blooper “Don’t let worry kill you, the church can help.”

• John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior advisor serving Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs, LLC.