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Holiday Grief Support

“HONORING THE EMPTY CHAIR”

Mount Evans offers free holiday workshop for bereaved adults

It doesn’t matter how long it’s been – coping with the death of a loved one is especially challenging during the holiday season when expectations for celebration are high. Mount Evans is holding a Empty Chair Title Graphicfree workshop called “Honoring the Empty Chair,” in which bereaved adults learn and share ideas on dealing with the loss of a family member or friend.

The workshop will be offered twice this holiday season: Tuesday, Nov. 15 from 12:30-2:00 p.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 6-7:30 p.m. Mount Evans bereavement counselors will lead the meetings, which will feature discussions about coping strategies and support resources. Light refreshments will be served.

Both sessions will be held at the Mount Evans offices, 3081 Bergen Peak Drive, Evergreen. Reservations are recommended. For more information, or to reserve a space, call Mount Evans at 303-674-6400 or email JPearson@MountEvans.org.

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The holiday season may be difficult if you are grieving the loss of a loved one.

Traditional celebrations may feel overwhelming if you are missing a person who had such an important role in previous holidays. It’s also possible to be very sensitive to remembering what you and your loved one were doing last year at this time. It is important to know that you can get through this season in a way that allows you to be comfortable, with how you spend your time and energy, along with honoring and remembering your loved one.

Everyone grieves differently. Talk with family and friends about what your needs are during this busy season. Attend get-togethers that feel comforting to you. It’s okay not to do everything that you have done in the past. Understand that you can let yourself off the hook when it comes to buying gifts, preparing food, sending cards and decorating the house. You may decide that eventually you will return to a more traditional holiday but this year can be simpler, if you need it to be.

Depending on what you are comfortable with, you may want to find a way to honor and remember your loved one. It can be whatever feels right to you. Some people light a candle for the person, make a special toast, share memories and stories about the person’s life, or decorate the grave with a winter wreath. Give yourself the time to think about what will give you comfort.

Take good care of yourself. Try your best to get enough sleep, eat healthy, and exercise. Being physically healthy can help you cope emotionally. Do things as well as you can without putting any more pressure on yourself. Again, allow yourself to come up with a plan that is right for you.

Find people and activities that feel supportive and helpful. Give yourself permission to do what feels good to you during this season and remember to take one day at a time.

The bereavement staff are available to you if you want to talk. Please call us at 303-674-6400 if we can be helpful.