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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas and Bereavement

Coping with the loss of a loved one and with holidays at the same time can be one of the most isolating and painful situations. While red bows and words of joy are part of the decorations everywhere, the grieving person feels many mixed emotions. People who are bereaved can feel pain over loss, sometimes guilt over being here without the loved one, relief that someone is no longer suffering, and isolation from the cheerful shoppers and festive music and events. It can be a roller coaster emotionally.

Hospice all over America provides workshops as the holidays are coming up to help bereaved people cope. There are grief groups for every type of loss. In a typical group each member might introduce herself or himself, and describe the loss and the loved one. Facilitators from Hospice provide guidance. It's a time to open up with others who have also experienced a loss and who will understand.

Each loss is completely different. Everything in the groups is confidential, so members feel free to share safely. There is no judging, just unconditional acceptance and listening. Sharing with a group helps to relieve the tension, stress and pain of the grief and people are able to work through the grief.

When the loss of a loved one has occurred during the Autumn or early Winter the comparison of the pain of loss and the festivities make it especially difficult to cope, for many people. Hospice provides a place that is a safe haven for sharing with others, and individual counseling is available also.

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