MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The holiday season can be challenging if you are dealing with the death of someone close to you; for some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, for others not so much. The loss of a loved one and the subsequent grief can consume the holiday cheer.
Darcy Bobo a mother in midtown lost two sons; one in 2016 and one in 2020.
Bobo's son Jeffery Brinson was shot and killed in 2016 and most recently her son, Jeremi Bobo died in March 2020 in a motorcycle accident in Chicago.
"That’s two sons in three and half years and they were both 32 years old when they died," Bobo said. "I don’t know they broke my heart; these losses broke my heart, broke me down, I am not the same person I was prior to.”
She remembers the man Jeremi was.
"He was a great dad," Bobo said. "A good brother, a fantastic so."
And as it concerns her son Jeffery's favorite holiday meal
“Jeffery loved dressing and he loved greens and meat. He was a big meathead.”
Ms. Darcy shared how she felt that first holiday after Jermi's death.
“After losing Jeremi I was kind of like a zombie, just going through the motions; I was laying in the bed; kind of crying, not eating, bathing," she said.
Darcy is not alone experts estimate at least 14 million people experience grief for the first time each holiday season. Doctor Paige Pirkey, a psychologist at the University of Memphis says the key to overcoming is allowing yourself to 'feel'.
“There is no right or wrong way to grieve,” Pirkey said. “Giving yourself permission and allowing yourself the grace and the time and space to actually experience and feel these emotions.”
It’s an uncomfortable but important process.
“Grief is a natural response to loss," Dr. Pirkey said. "It is actually an incredibly important process because it helps us understand what matters."
Dr. Pirkey says to give yourself G.R.A.C.E:
Giving yourself permission to feel all of your emotions.
Reflect on the loss associated with grief.
Ask yourself questions to make sense of what grief is.
Comfort and care. Rather than attempting to avoid your feelings connect with a loved one and ask for support from family or a therapist.
Embodying care; allowing it to become a part of who you are.
And Darcy Bobo says when it comes to loved ones; “be intentional with the people that you love, you know sometimes we take things for granted. ‘Oh, I’ll talk to them tomorrow," she said. "You don’t know that because you don’t know if tomorrow is going to come for both of you."