Coping with Loss During the Holidays

Last Modified: December 22, 2010

Share article


Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

My sister passed away a few months ago and I was her caregiver. She was only 38 years old. I am devastated still and do not know how to cope with the Holiday season that is approaching.

Answer

Tracy Lautenbach, MSW, LCSW, Social Worker in the Radiation Oncology Department at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

The people around you might not recognize the depth of your grief when you lose a spouse or a child, and may not be providing you with the support you need.

The holidays are a time for giving, so give yourself the gift of acceptance. Acceptance not so much of the loss, but that the grief you are experiencing is one step in the healing process. It is natural that thinking about and remembering your sister at this time brings pain and sadness. Do not fight this. If you need to cry, do so. Do not hide yourself away with your grief. If your grief is shared, it is somewhat diminished.

Remembering your sister on special occasions is also a way to honor her.

Tackle what you feel you are up to doing during the holidays, but take care of yourself and have others respect whatever limits you may place.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. See the entire transcript: Surviving & Thriving During the Holidays Webchat.


News
BMD Loss Occurs Early in Androgen Deprivation Therapy

Apr 12, 2012 - The highest average change in bone mineral density occurs during early treatment of nonmetastatic, hormone-sensitive prostate cancer in men receiving intermittent androgen deprivation therapy, according to research published online April 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.



I Wish You Knew

How an oncology social worker can improve your cancer experience

View More



Blogs and Web Chats

OncoLink Blogs give our readers a chance to react to and comment on key cancer news topics and provides a forum for OncoLink Experts and readers to share opinions and learn from each other.




OncoLink OncoPilot

Facing a new cancer diagnosis or changing the course of your current treatment? Let our cancer nurses help you through!

Learn More