Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Grief and the Holidays

Grief & the Holidays
Trying to cope with the loss of a loved one during the holiday season is not easy. The holiday season is a naturally stressful time of the year. Spending time with family, cooking, and gift giving can all be very rewarding. However, being surrounded by a lot of people, preparing food, shopping, and wrapping gifts require time and effort.
The grieving process is a natural response to the loss of a significant relationship. During the grieving process and adjustment period following your loss, you can experience a wide range of emotional responses. At times, these emotional responses can be difficult to cope with and understand. Though there is no hard and fast solution to the grieving process. Listed below are some suggestions that may help to ease the stress and minimize the negative emotions people encounter during the holiday season.
1.      Set boundaries on your expectations and other’s expectations.
2.      Have a meeting or discussion with family and friends about holiday plans.
3.      Rehearse how you will respond to difficult situations beforehand.
4.      Observe the day in a way that has meaning for you. 
5.      Make the holiday an opportunity for healing, and day for renewal of your physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
6.      Be Flexible.
7.      Recreate or change traditions. Start something new.
8.      Bring special touches of your loved one to the holiday.
9.      Focus on the concept of gifts and gift giving. Buy a gift for yourself as well as others.
·      What is the gift you were given by your loved one?
·      What did they teach you about life and living?
·      What positive qualities did they bring out in you?
·      What was their purpose for being in your life?
10.  Have a plan.
There are opportunities for grief support available through Hospice of Southern Illinois. If you’d like assistance from a member of our counseling services team, please call (800) 233-1708 and request to speak with a member of our Counseling Services Department. Our counseling services are open to the community and Hospice of Southern Illinois families alike. 
Hospice of Southern Illinois, Counseling Department, facilitates monthly grief support groups on the second Wednesday of each month (3:00- 4:30 p.m.) at Relais Bonne Eau located at 7325 Marine Road, Edwardsville and on the third Wednesday of each month (3:00- 4:30 p.m.) at Garden Place Senior Living located at 351 Lockwood Drive, Red Bud. We also offer a Tree of Life Ceremony to honor and memorialize your deceased loved one. The Tree of Life Ceremony, where families can hang the name of their loved one on the Tree of Life and remember the one they love and lost. This ceremony is held at 3 locations on the first Sunday in December each year.
Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message: Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones. No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help.

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education

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