WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Holidays, that time of year we want to be with our friends and family more than anything.

“You know this is the fa-la-la season but if you’ve lost a loved one, or even several loved ones, this time of year you become hyper-aware of who is missing. And so, the holidays normally they would be times of celebration but they can be very very painful,” Grief Specialist Gary Roe said.

Roe said it’s important that we understand grief and how to navigate it, especially at these times when we’re the most vulnerable.

“Grief basically is a natural and healthy response to a real or perceived loss. In this case, it’s a very real loss,” Roe said.

A loss that hits us on every level: physically, mentally emotionally, and spiritually. Roe says that’s why it’s important to take advantage of grief seminars and services provided by places like Hospice of Wichita Falls, and knowing that things like honoring your loved ones in fun ways can make it a little easier, among other things.

“Number one, you’re not alone, even though this is lonely [and] you might feel alone, number two you’re not crazy even though you might think you are sometimes and then number three you will make it through this,” Roe said.

While having that mentality ‘can be easier said than done’, Roe says just trying to celebrate your loved ones’ life in a positive way, but still addressing your feelings can also make you feel better.

“You can tell yourself in fact that these holidays will be different. Very, very different. But they can still be good, they can still be good so do what you can to guard your heart, and do what you can to love the people around you and be honest with how you’re feeling too if at all possible,” Roe said.

So if you’re holiday looks or feels a little different this year, there are still ways to make it a good one.

If you or someone you know may be dealing with grief this holiday season you can find the list of grief support services offered by Hospice of Wichita Falls by clicking here.