For the families in the communities we serve, the Dangler Family and Staff would like to wish you Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays. These words can sometimes be difficult when your heart has experienced grief. Everyone around you is rushing around with shopping. The songs of the season are playing everywhere. Decorations are all around.

Family and friends are going to holiday parties.You once felt this same anxiety, joy and yes, even stress. Now the time is different because you have lost a loved one. It is okay to feel sad. Grievers have the right to feel sad, depressed or anxious.

It is also okay to give yourself permission to feel good, laugh, and even have some fun. You may even enjoy sharing stories about your loved ones and the holidays. If you are comfortable, you can talk about some holiday traditions that you shared together.

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It can also be a time for making new holiday traditions or doing things a little different. You may want to discuss ideas with other family members. Try and be flexible so that the time can be meaningful for all family and friends that are involved.

No matter how many years pass, the holiday can be bittersweet, bringing both joy and sadness when you have lost a loved one. May this season bring thoughts of a beautiful memory and with it a few moments of joy and peace.

The Dangler Family and Staff want you to know that you are not alone this holiday season. We are here to support you in remembering your loved ones.

Betty Dangler is President & CEO of Burroughs, Kohr & Dangler Funeral Home (Madison, NJ) and Dangler Funeral Home (Morris Plains, NJ), and a Certified Grief Specialist.