The holiday season brings together family and friends. It also brings memories of time gone by and of loved ones who are no longer with us. Regardless of the length of time since a loved one’s passing, those memories often trigger feelings of joy, sadness and grief.
Since 1985, Tidelands Community Hospice, your community’s locally based not-for- profit hospice, has provided hospice care and services in Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg counties. Its hospice care and services are available to all who are in need, regardless of their financial status or life situation. The Bereavement Program individual contact, support groups, workshops, Services of Remembrance and the Good Mourning Day Camp program for children are available, at no cost, to anyone who is grieving a loss, not just hospice families.
We understand that the holidays can serve as a reminder of how much our lives have been changed by the loss of our loved one. When one is missing their loved one and feeling lonely and sad, watching others celebrate can be overwhelming and painful. The first year can be particularly difficult and can bring questions and thoughts such as, “Who will carve the turkey or cook the apple pies?” “I don’t want to decorate, shop or be around others.” “This is too painful, how can I cope?” We hope the following suggestions will be helpful.
1. Acknowledge the Pain
The first step in coping with one’s grief is to acknowledge that it is difficult. Prepare in advance by making specific plans and getting the support that is needed. Try to remember that sometimes anticipation of the holiday or gathering is more difficult than the day itself.
2. Wrap Yourself in Love
Surround yourself with people who support and love you. Talk about your grief and share your feelings and memories of your loved one and of holidays past. Talk to them about your thoughts on plans for the holiday.
3. Take Care of Yourself
Allow yourself to grieve and to feel joy, sadness and anger. Remember that every family member has their own way of grieving and may have different needs and ideas about how to celebrate the holidays.
4. Understand the Transition
Create ways to celebrate that include your new “normal.” Talk with family members about what traditions they want to include or exclude and what new activities and traditions they would like to start.
5. Remember Your Loved One in a Special Way
When remembering their loved one, some choose to add a commemorative ornament on the tree, play a favorite game or music, or attend a special service. Tidelands Community Hospice holds two Services of Remembrance in December. Visit our website, TidelandsHospice.org for additional Services of Remembrance information.
“The memories of loved ones and times gone by will always be meaningful, as will the holidays,” says Barriedel Llorens, Tidelands Hospice Foundation Director. “Though different after the loss of a loved one, each holiday can be meaningful and filled with its own memories. The staff and volunteers of Tidelands Community Hospice thank you for your continuing support, which ensures that all in our community who are need will receive hospice care, services and support. We wish you a blessed holiday season filled with peace and joy,”
Tidelands Community Hospice staff is available to answer your questions or concerns individually or to speak and hold workshops to church groups and civic organizations. Visit the website TidelandsHospice.org for additional information.