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Dealing without a loved one during the holidays

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The Holiday Season is a time for family, but for some it might be their first Christmas without a loved one. One woman shared her experience to help others on how to deal when the blues hit this Christmas.

It's not easy spending the holidays missing or grieving a loved one. That's something Darlene Garcia knows all too well. "Grief is something I'm really passionate about since my husband Frank died two years ago, and I realized that not a lot of people don't talk about grief, a lot of people suppress their grief, or they're suffering or going through something in their life and they don't realize that it is grief," she said.

Her husband, Frank, was killed in a tragic motorcycle crash. But, Darlene is also a grief counselor. So, she can safely talk about loss - the monster on her back that she says takes on different forms. Though she says she found healing and comfort in talking to others and knowing she is not alone.

"Any type of loss, some people could've just lost their jobs and they're stressing about how they're going to buy their kids Christmas gifts  or somebody who's lost their home, I know a couple of people who've already had their cars broken into just recently, that loss of safety and security can really affect you during the holidays," she said.

Darlene is now launching her own series of grief talks this holiday season. Its talks she says are more than just a support group, rather an action based method. "The great thing about the grief recovery method is it's an action based method that people can use even after the workshop," she said encouragingly.

"It's really just to help people in our community be able to be okay with grief; it's okay to be sad and still enjoy the holidays. Sadness and Joy can definitely coexist."

And with that understanding, her gift to others is to make those darker times just a little bit brighter this Christmas.

Darlene's grief talks will be held at the Port of Mocha in Tamuning each night from 6:30 to 8:30 on December 4th, 6th, 12th, and 14th. It's free for all to attend. Find out more at 686-HOPE.

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