Dealing with the loss of a loved one at Christmas


For many, this Christmas will be the first without that beloved friend or family member, putting a sad face on an otherwise joyful season

Kody Armstrong was the youngest child of John and Mary Armstrong of Chesapeake, Ohio. He died in January of this year, and this Christmas will be the first without him.

"I don't even really feel like Christmas no more. I had a hard time putting up a tiny tree this year. It was really hard. The only thing I put on it was a few things he made," said Mary Armstrong, Kody's mother

"It is diffficult because the traditions and things you are used to doing with that person present or in your life has to change because they are not there anymore," said Melanie Hall, President/CEO, Hospice of Huntington.

Every year Cabell-Huntington Hospital hosts "Evening of Memories", to help grieving families deal with the unknown territory of loosing a loved one at Christmas. Hall says coping tends to get easier over time.

"Be kind to yourself. Make sure that you are not putting too much expectation on yourself and explain that to friends and family you may come in contact with," said Hall.

She advises remember the happy times. For the Armstrong's it's the fact that Kody decorated the family Christmas tree last year.

"I wake up every morning and tell myself he's somewhere somewhere else waiting for me," said Mary Armstrong.

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