Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2012, 1:37 pm

Getting through the holidays while grieving

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Submitted press release


Trinity Pathway Hospice offers tips for getting through the holidays while grieving


Trinity Pathway Hospice has bereavement coordinators and social workers available to do interviews about coping with grief during the holidays.

—Trinity Pathway Hospice provides some helpful tips for those who have lost a loved one —

MOLINE, ILLINOIS, December 11, 2012— While holiday time is meant to be merry, it can be an especially difficult time of year for those who are grieving the passing of a loved one. Holiday occasions tend to emphasize the absence of the person who has died and can reawaken painful emotions, even years later.
Trinity Pathway Hospice offers some practical tips to help friends and family members who are coping with loss during the holidays.
"We frequently see families who are struggling to find a way to balance honoring their loved one and keeping some of those holiday traditions that have been so special to them," states Bob Boezinger, bereavement coordinator at Trinity Pathway Hospice. "The most important thing that we tell our families is to sit down with each other and talk about what they want to do for the holiday season. Some may want to continue family traditions, others may prefer to try doing something different this year, or start a new tradition."
Other tips include:
· Give yourself permission NOT to do things. Choose the holiday tasks you enjoy and ask for help with other ones. Seemingly simple tasks such as baking, cleaning and gift wrapping can be overwhelming while dealing with grief.

· Do not set expectations too high and be kind to yourself. Get plenty of rest, as the holidays can be exhausting.

· Talk about the person who has died. Use their name in conversation as you recall memories of past holidays.

· Plan ahead. Think how you will respond to well-wishers with greetings of "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays."


· Consider volunteering during the holiday season. Doing something for someone else, such as helping in a soup kitchen or working with children may help you feel better about the holidays.


· Try using online or catalog shopping this year. Being surrounded by happy shoppers and holiday store decorations can be difficult.


· Visit the cemetery, and make a special family wreath to take to your loved one's grave. Take another wreath to place on an unremembered grave of someone unknown to you.

· Plan to do something to honor the person who has died. It can be lighting a candle in their memory, making a donation in their memory, setting a place at the table, hanging an ornament on the tree, filling their stocking with written memories, or ringing a bell each time you think of them.

Boezinger says that the holidays are most difficult the first few years following a loss. "The holidays won't be the same as they were previously, but helping grieving families feel that they have honored their loved ones accordingly during this time of year will help them start to heal."
Trinity Pathway Hospice also offers individual grief support and information about grief support groups. Please contact Bob Boezinger for more information at 309-779-7285, or boezinrw@ihs.org.
Trinity Pathway Hospice provides physical, emotional and spiritual care for end-of-life patients in their place of residence, including their homes, assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospitals. For more information about Trinity Pathway Hospice, please call (309) 779-7600.