The last two months of the year are often a time when we find ourselves surrounded by the love and warmth of family and friends, with plenty of opportunity to make connections, share traditions and partake in holiday rituals. But for those grieving or with a seriously ill loved one, the holidays can magnify feelings of loss and bring on sadness, distress, anxiety, uncertainty and fear. It can be hard to maneuver through festivities, knowing that the holidays will not be same.
The Wilson Support Center will offer two “Grief and the Holidays” programs to help those who could use some help during the coming weeks as they cope with loss. The first runs from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday; the second, from 2 to 3 p.m. Dec. 14.
Both gatherings will take place at the Hospice Buffalo Mitchell Campus Education Center, 225 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga. The first will be presented by the Hospice Buffalo Bereavement Team, the second by the Hospice Buffalo Spiritual Care Team. The programs are free but participants are asked to RSVP by Saturday for Tuesday’s program and by Dec. 12 for next month’s program at wilsonsupportcenter.org, or calling 836-6460. or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you will be grieving during the holidays, Hospice staff encourages you to be gentle with yourself. Give yourself permission, space and time to decide what is best for you and your family unit. Advocate for your needs and accept help. Consider options to both maintain the old and create new traditions. Remember that there is no manual – no right or wrong, nor any template from which you should mold your grief or your holiday.