Everything about the holidays seems cheerful and bright to most of us. But we forget that there are some people who dread the holidays.
As things change in our lives, the holidays can bring back heartbreaking memories. For some families, it is the first year without a loved one who has died, or it is the first Christmas with a new blended family, which means mom and dad are with different people, and family traditions are perhaps distorted or discarded.
Dr. Valerie Robinson is a psychiatrist at the Texas Tech Health Science Center. She says, especially when young children are involved, it can make a difficult situation worse by ignoring what is different.
"Elephant in the room that everyone knows about but isn't saying anything. Talking about it can help the healing process," says Dr. Robinson.
Dr. Robinson says don't overlook the family member who, instead of grieving over a loss, appears upbeat over the holidays. That could be a clue that person is hiding their emotions and needs to talk.
So, if you are one of the lucky ones, count your blessings but let's remember to be sensitive to those who go through the motions of holiday happiness, with a broken heart.
For NewsChannel 11, I'm Marsha Sharp with Sharp Advice from Texas Tech.