Grieving During the Holidays

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Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — As the Midlands mother of two siblings who died in a fire prepares to bury her children, another mother who lost a son to suicide offers advice on coping with grief during the holiday season. Gripped by the headlines of a fatal fire Wednesday claiming the lives of young siblings, Langley Shealy says she knows that pain. “Grieving is messy.” Shealy’s adult son, Damon, killed himself. He was 23 when he pointed a gun to his right temple, and pulled the trigger, 15 months ago today. As Shealy approaches a second Christmas without him, her heart and advice go out to all grieving parents, especially Breann Bennett, whose five year old son and 18-month old daughter perished in an apartment fire Wednesday. “To unwrap a Christmas ornament from your child in 3rd grade it’s normal to hurt, to bring in the New Year and not turn to the person and say you love them it’s normal to hurt,” said Shealy. Irmo officials say the electrical fire started beside a fireplace at the apartment home. They claim faulty wiring ignited a nearby Christmas tree, which resulted in a “very hot and fast developing fire.” A man caring for the children at the time, say officials, was able to escape. Shealy has well wishes to Bennett on hope to cope with holiday grief. “Give yourself permission to grieve. Draw close to those who bring your comfort, to those who don’t move on from them. Draw on your faith and take comfort in God.”

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