Tag Archives: good samaritan hospice

Holiday Happenings!

Traditions are important, and it is never too late to start a new one with your family and friends. There are several very important events happening this holiday season that should be on your calendar if they are not already. And, who knows, you may run in to a Bella girl while you are there!

15230807_10154696474809400_5663766098762608240_nThe Southwest Virginia Ballet will present The Nutcracker on Saturday, December 10 at 2 pm and 7 pm, and Sunday, December 11 at 3 pm at the Berglund Performing Arts Center. Adapted from “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffman, this holiday tradition features a cast of 150 performers that represent over 15 dance school from the Roanoke Valley and beyond with choreography by the incredibly talented Pedro Szalay. Join Clara and the Nutcracker Prince as they battle giant mice, dance with snowflakes, and journey to the Land of the Sweets where the Sugar Plum Fairy entertains them with exotic dances from around the world. Guests may also purchase tickets to Clara’s Tea Party at the Berglund Performing Arts Theatre on Sunday, December 13 at 1:30 pm. At this special pre-performance event, you will have the opportunity to meet Clara, The Nutcracker, and The Sugar Plum Fairy. Tea, cocoa, and treats will be served. For more information on this event and how to purchase tickets, go to www.svballet.org.

2015-love-light-treeOne of the most important gifts you can give yourself or a grieving family member during the holidays is time to remember those who cannot be with you. The Good Samaritan Hospice Love Light Tree has helped people in our community do just that since 1995. You can purchase a “love light tag” in memory of a loved one for $10 or, for a donation of $25, individuals receive a 2016 porcelain ornament and a “love light tag.”

“Our love for someone does not die with them. It lives on in memories and day-to-day reminders of what life together meant. We work through grief by remembering, not by forgetting,” explains Good Samaritan Hospice CEO Sue Ranson.

At the beginning of the holiday season, Love Light Trees will be set up in Tanglewood Mall in Roanoke and New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg. They will be left on display at these locations throughout the months of November and December. Those who purchase “love light tags” will be able to choose the tree on which they would like their tag to be displayed. Thursday, December 15, is the deadline date to order Love Light ornaments to guarantee that they will be received in time for Christmas. Visit www.goodsamhospice.com for more information.

Make memories that will last a lifetime at Dickens of a Christmas in Downtown Roanoke! This event takes place on the first three Fridays in December. Festivities will begin on December 2 with the City of Roanoke’s Christmas Tree Lighting at 6:15 pm. On December 9, the Christmas Parade will begin at 7 pm. Finally, on December 16, enjoy the Coca Cola Snow Zone and the RVSPCA Pet Costume Contest beginning at 6:30 pm.

This free, family-friendly event includes roasted chestnuts, carriage rides and street performers through all three evenings. Visit www.downtownroanoke.org for more information.

Hope and Hot Chocolate

gshThe holidays are an exciting time for many of us. However, if you are living with the grief of losing a loved one, it can be very difficult to actively participate in the festivities.

Good Samaritan Hospice provides many programs to help people experiencing loss year round. Their upcoming program, Hope and Hot Chocolate, emphasizes ways to identify and meet your own emotional needs while enjoying the meaning and spirit of the holiday season. Participants will work with grief/loss professionals and discuss topics like “normal” grief, strategies for balancing their needs with the demands of others, and ways to honor loved ones during the holidays. 

It is important to remember that you are not alone. These programs will remind you that you have permission to avoid mailing holiday cards to everyone this year. You have every right to miss events or leave early. In fact, contrary to what you may be told by friends and family, taking time to understand and experience your grief may be better for you in the long run.

Everett Collins, has participated in several of the programs offered by Good Samaritan Hospice since his wife passed away. Information they provide, like the Mourner’s Bill of Rights, has been imperative to helping him understand his grief— and it has helped him obtain the support he needs from those closest to him.

“I made a copy of the Mourner’s Bill of Rights for my friends and family. People think you should be like you were before and when you aren’t, it makes you feel crazy,” he explains. “This information helps them understand what you are going through.”

He adds that the purpose of these meetings is not to give people closure. It is to give them a better understanding of why they feel the way that they do.

The Hope and Hot Chocolate program will take place on Monday, December 1 at 6 p.m. at the Good Samaritan Hospice Office. The program is free, but pre-registration is required because seating is limited.

There are many additional groups, organized by Good Samaritan Hospice, that meet year-round to offer a safe and compassionate environment in which bereaved adults can talk to others dealing with loss and work towards a better understanding of their grief. For more information and to register, please contact Sandra Phillips at 540-776-0198, or visit www.goodsamhospice.org.