Coping with Loss During the Holidays

ERLANGER, Ky. —  There are plenty of opportunities to spread cheer this season. But for those who’ve lost a loved one the holidays may present a difficult time.

“To be honest with you it’s pretty fresh and there hasn’t been a day yet that I haven’t cried,” said Sue Reece, a mother.

It happened this October when Sue Reece received a call at 5 a.m. on a Sunday. She says it’s a call she wishes no one has to live through.

“There’s really, just sometimes you can’t put it into words but if there was someway that Megan knew that all the people that was here,” Reece said.

Reece’s daughter Megan died this year at the age of 29. She left behind three kids.

“She loved her kids. And she has a best friend that she’s had since pre-school. Not many people can say they keep a best friend all through the years and they did,” Reece said.

The holidays this season are tough for Sue and her family, having to celebrate without Megan’s presence this year.

“They’ve surrounded themselves with support by attending the first Holiday Remembrance Service at Newcomer Funeral Homes.

“Christmas just wasn’t the same after she passed. You know just are always gonna go to grandma’s house for Christmas and that was the last year we did it,” said Jason Gulley, funeral director.

Gulley’s grandmother passed away 20 years ago and from that point on he found his calling to offer emotional support for those also going to grief.

“This means a lot to be able to touch some families and let them know that it’s normal. You know it’s normal and it’s going to happen so prepare yourself. It’s always good to take the healthy step,” Gulley said.

More than 100 people attended the Holiday Remembrance Service. 

“You know when things happen at first, you got everybody around you, there’s people coming and going all the time,” Reece said. “But a week or two down the road, when it seems like there’s nobody, sometimes people feel like if they say anything they’re bringing up something that might hurt you. But it feels good to know that people still think about Megan that they don’t forget about her too.”

Newcomer Funeral Home plans to make this an annual event.