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The holidays aren't as joyful for those who have lost loved ones, but they can be a time to remember those no longer here

A candle burns in the dark
A candle burns in the dark

Lost & Found Grief Center offers help for those who are grieving.

The holidays can be a joyful time when people decorate their homes, do lots of cooking and baking and get together with family and friends to exchange gifts and enjoy one another’s company. But for those who have lost loved ones, the holiday season can be difficult.

Karen Scott, co-founder of the Lost & Found Grief Center in Springfield, advises those who are grieving to lower their expectations and don’t feel like they have to host the big celebrations they may have hosted in the past.

And she said starting new traditions can help.

"Don't try to do the same thing like you've always done it as if that's somehow going to make the absence less obvious," she said. "It tends to magnify it when you try to do the same thing we've always done."

Families should continue to create fond memories during the holidays for children, she said, but the celebration doesn’t have to be as big. And she suggests doing something to bring the memory of the one who died into the holiday.

"Either by lighting a candle in their memory, sharing favorite ornaments, having food that that person loves," she said, "so, rather than ignore it, embrace it as a part of your new holiday tradition."

Those who are grieving shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help with simple things like setting up a tree, wrapping gifts and shopping, said Scott.

Lost & Found Grief Center offers support groups for free and individual counseling for a fee.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.