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I hear confusion from those who grieve in this holiday season because they experience conflicting emotions. The collision between the expectations of holiday happiness and the personal reality of grief can create confusion. “My feelings go back and forth from the sadness I feel from my loss this year to the excitement I used to feel for the holidays, and then back to sadness.” “I found myself looking forward to a holiday party and then suddenly my excitement turned to tears.”

Enter into this season in a state of mind of “both and” rather than “either or.” Sorrow does not exclude all joy, and celebration does not eliminate all sorrow. Yet it can be confusing to experience opposing emotions at the same time or feel your mood vacillate between light and dark. Joy may transition into sadness in the blink of an eye. Contentment may suddenly shift into yearning for your loved one.

All of these feelings are important even if they appear in conflict because they are part of your grief story during this season. Be open and accepting of both the joy and the sorrow in this holiday time.

CLICK HERE to purchase a copy of my book “Getting Grief Right.”


Getting Grief Right

by Dr. Patrick O'Malley

A masterpiece that will touch your heart and soul with healing powers. • A compassionate, wise, and practical guide • A must read for anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one.


Grief Therapist

Dr. Patrick O’Malley is a psychotherapist in Fort Worth, Texas, who specializes in grief counseling. For 40 years, he has counseled individuals, couples and families
in his private practice.


Getting Grief Right

by Dr. Patrick O'Malley

By the time Mary came to see me, six months after losing her daughter to sudden infant death syndrome, she had hired and fired two other therapists. She was trying to get her grief right...

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