WACO, Texas (FOX 44)-

Memorial Day is an important day to be reminded of the sacrifices that the men and women of the armed services make to defend our country, but this holiday can be difficult for those who have lost a loved one.

As you honor the day with ceremonies, fireworks, barbeques and other festivities, keep in mind the veterans or their family members who are experiencing grief or PTSD.

Vince Erickson with Heart of Texas Behavioral Network says when complete understanding of someone’s pain is absent, empathy can go a long way.

“Often times they feel guilt and loss over the people who served during their time in the military, ” he says.

Memorial Day can trigger feelings of anxiety or disconnect, especially for those who don’t have friends and family to celebrate with.

“The holiday just reminds them that they are alone and can add to their feelings of isolation,” says Erickson.

Holidays can also be hard because some festivities revolve around alcohol. Erickson says to be mindful of those around you who struggle with substance abuse.

“People may struggle wanting to participate in the celebration, but not wanting to relapse in their recovery,” he adds.

Heart of Texas mental health crisis services are available 24/7 every day of the year at their toll-free number 1-866-752-3451.