TIMMINS -- Some people in Timmins who work with those who are grieving say there are a variety of options that can help people manage their sorrow, especially during a holiday season that's even more stressful this year due to the pandemic.

Lynne Carriere is a grief consultant at Lessard-Stephens Funeral Home in Timmins. She said grief comes with many emotions and the holidays, especially this year, may be a difficult time for many people.

But if people want to help their loved ones, she said it doesn't require much effort to let them know you're thinking of them.

"A text with heart, showing that we care, little kind gestures like that can go a long way," said Carriere. "Preparing muffins and putting them on someone's doorstep and telling them you've made those with love and care."

She said it's also important for people to have time and space to grieve and she said holiday get-togethers might not be helpful.

Sometimes need to be alone

"Share with our family members who invited us: 'you know I'm kind of ... needing to be alone today and I really appreciate the invite but ... maybe we can do it another time,'" she said. "On the flip side of that is to be respectful of those who sometimes need to be alone."

Ted Bendell agrees with that. He's a 'GriefShare' leader and will be hosting a couple of 'Surviving the Holidays' seminars online and at the Bible Fellowship Assembly.

"If you get an invitation ... you say, I'd love to come; put me down tentatively, because I don't know how I'm going to feel that day," he said.

Bendall has experienced the loss of two sons and also thinks journaling is helpful. He also suggested people write a 'grief letter' to their family and friends.

"And say look, this is where I am -- you know that -- but because of this, I'm going to need help with understanding me, understanding that I may not be in a place where I can engage in casual conversation."

Bendell said the seminars he's offering at the end of November and beginning of December are especially helpful for people who are experiencing the first three years of the loss of a loved one.

And, Carriere said she is available for private appointments regarding any type of grief.