Out in the Open

How do you deal with loss during the season of cheer?

Elizabeth Berrien survives the ‘tis the season to be jolly pressure by being honest with herself and those around her about grief.

Elizabeth Berrien survived the pressure that came with the holidays by being honest with herself

Elizabeth Berrien lost her husband and experienced a stillbirth right before the holidays in 2009. (Provided by Elizabeth Berrien )
Listen7:57

For many, Christmas is a time spent with family. In 2009, Elizabeth Berrien didn't have that luxury.

Shortly before the holidays, she experienced a stillbirth and her husband, a solider, was killed while serving in Afghanistan.

"The idea of having to celebrate something and feel any ounce of joy was tremendously difficult. I just didn't know how I was going to get through."

She says all the cheer around her was like "twisting a knife into something that's already an open wound." She managed to survive by being brutally honest with those around her about what she could and couldn't take during the holidays.   

Elizabeth tells Piya what she learned from her first Christmas after loss and how you can approach a loved one in a similar situation.


This story originally aired on December 17, 2016. It appears in the Out in the Open episode "Holiday Survival Guide".

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