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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.