Every December, Our Lady of Peace celebrates the lives of people who have passed in our care. In non-pandemic years, families gather in our Chapel for our annual Celebration of Life event. But this year, we are marking this occasion with a pre-recorded video on our website, available for viewing, beginning on December 6th and throughout the month.
Grief support at Our Lady of Peace continues, even though we can’t meet with people in person. Our Lady of Peace is committed to supporting hospice patients and their caregivers through the bereavement and grief journey. All bereavement services are offered free of charge unless indicated otherwise and open to the public.
Grief tends to surge during the holidays, when there is an empty seat at the Christmas table, and a loved one is no longer there, laughing and celebrating the moments. Our grief support team shares professional advice on coping with grief and loss during the holidays, with an understanding that everyone grieves differently. Here are some strategies that may provide comfort to you this year:
- Physical hands on work and activities can help you work through grief
- Create a centerpiece for the Christmas table, in memory of a loved one and incorporate an ornament or other items they loved.
- Keeping a loved one close can provide comfort
- Make a pillow or a teddy bear from their clothing and keep it near during the holidays.
- Bring a loved one into the holiday celebration in a personal way
- Light a candle or share notes in Christmas stockings – Grandpa loved hanging the stockings on the mantle or your mom couldn’t wait to see your face when you came down the stairs on Christmas morning.
In addition to the support Our Lady of Peace provides, we continue to seek other resources that may also be helpful to the people we serve.Megan Divine has created an online community and resource that helps people survive some of the hardest experiences of their lives. She is a psychotherapist, writer, grief advocate, and communication expert who watched her strong, fit and healthy partner, Matt, drown – just three-months shy of his 40th birthday. Megan is dedicated to helping people live through things they never thought they would face. She says, “Grief is incredibly lonely. Finding your tribe is the one thing I can guarantee will make this easier on you. Companionship and kinship are your survival.”
If you are carrying the grief and loss of a loved one this holiday season, we hope you find peace in these words: There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they are gone, the light remains.