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Mother who lost son shares experience with grief, coping during holidays

If you have lost a loved one, we hope this episode of “Mindful Headlines” can serve as a hug as you navigate grief during the holidays.
Credit: David Ryder
Author Paula Becker.

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Many people are dealing with grief this holiday season. In fact, for many people this will be the first holiday season they’re seeing extended family since the start of the pandemic.

The U.S. Surgeon General recently warned of a youth mental health crisis during the pandemic, saying more than 140,000 children in the U.S. lost a parent, grandparent or caretaker because of COVID-19.

However, even if your loved one died of something completely unrelated to COVID-19, you may feel you haven’t properly grieved during the pandemic as funerals and hospital visits were limited.

In this week’s “Mindful Headlines” podcast, KING 5 Anchor Jessica Janner Castro spoke to Seattle author Paula Becker about her new book on grief. The book is titled “A Little Book of Self-Care for Those Who Grieve,” and Becker wrote it while coping with the loss of her son Hunter.

“It’s not a how-to manual for surviving grief,” Becker said. “It’s a book that helps sit with the reality of this bereavement. That really is the only goal: to be a hand to hold for people that are grieving.”

“Learning to live with that [loss] is just the work of the rest of your life when you’ve lost someone you love,” said Becker.

In the podcast, Becker’s therapist Laura Takacs also shared helpful tips for coping with grief during the holidays.

Holiday rituals can be one way to mark the loss of a loved one.

“I ask my clients, ‘How do you want to include him/her in your celebration or in the holiday?’” Takacs said.

Takacs suggested trying things like baking or cooking their favorite food, setting an extra place at the table for them, lighting a candle or everyone sharing a favorite memory of the lost loved one.

Grief resources

Crisis Connections (support services for those in King County)

Providence grief support services

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"Mindful Headlines" is a news podcast about the Pacific Northwest that explores how our psychology intersects with current events.

The way we interact with our world is influenced by the way we perceive the world. In turn, our collective minds shape the issues that make headlines in our local communities and nationwide.

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