The quickest way to ward off seasonal blahs is recognizing that you’re not alone. Here is a small sampling of the many great texts available through libraries, booksellers, and digital downloads on working through holiday anxiety, depression, grief and loneliness.

Surviving the Holidays Without You: Navigating Grief During Special Seasons
By Gary Roe
Multiple award-winning author, speaker, and grief specialist Gary Roe is a compassionate and trusted voice in grief recovery who has been bringing comfort, hope, encouragement, and healing to wounded hearts for more than 30 years. Surviving the Holidays Without You has helped thousands of grievers not only maintain their sanity, but turn days that they once dreaded into positive, healing times. Written with heartfelt compassion, this easy-to-read, practical book has been dubbed by many as a “Holiday Survival Kit.” Texts include: Why holiday grief, Christmas Grief, and Special Day Sadness Are So Challenging, How to Handle Grief Triggers, Emotional Bursts, and Rollercoaster Emotions; and How to Face Feeling Emotional, Lonely, Misunderstood, and Overwhelmed.

A Decembered Grief: Living with Loss While Others are Celebrating
By Harold Ivan Smith

Vincent van Gogh’s last words resonate with many grievers this holiday season: ‘La tristesse durea — the sadness will never go away. ‘No, it will not go away. But it will change. Grief can be overwhelming, and it is especially intense during the holidays — those weeks that have always been spent in preparation and anticipation with a loved one who has been lost. While the world seems to be moving forward and celebrating life, grievers face a season of darkness and loss. For youor as a gift for someone you know who is grieving — Harold Ivan Smith guides the reader beyond the darkness with illustrations and insights that emphasize God’s ability to transform the holidays into a time of grace and healing.

Good Grief: A Companion for Every Loss
By Granger E. Westberg

For more than fifty years Good Grief has helped millions of readers, including NFL players and a former first lady, find comfort and rediscover hope after loss. This classic text includes a foreword by Dr. Timothy Johnson, a leading communicator of medical health care information. An afterword by the author’s daughters tells how the book came to be. Good Grief identifies ten stages of grief — shock, emotion, depression, physical distress, panic, guilt, anger, resistance, hope, and acceptance — but, recognizing that grief is complex and deeply personal, defines no “right” way to grieve. Good Grief offers valuable insights into the emotional and physical responses persons may experience during the natural process of grieving. Reflection questions help readers explore their own experience with each stage.

Lead Me Home: An African American’s Guide Through the Grief Journey
By Carleen Brice

When a loved one dies, we embark on a journey that is marked by anguish, confusion, fear, and loneliness. For African Americans, the grief journeys often includes more complicated and painful emotions: frustration with the knowledge that black men and women have a greater chance of dying from major common diseases than their white counterparts; anger at the frequency of drug- and violence-related deaths; and the collective grief of a community that has buried too many of its young people.

Carleen Brice gently guides readers through the strange terrain of grief to the promise of home — a place where we have not only survived our losses but are wiser and stronger because of them. She shares her personal story of loss and recovery, as well as the stories of others, so that you will know you are not alone.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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