AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - BSA Hospice of the Southwest has been hosting Grief and the Holidays workshops to give those who are grieving a special way to remember their loved ones this time of year.
The bereavement professionals at BSA Hospice of the Southwest say grief can be amplified in the holiday season.
“The holidays are stressful for us normally,” said Bereavement Coordinator at BSA Hospice of the Southwest Deborah Andrews. “A lot of it is the expectations we put on ourselves and our family traditions, being invited to parties, having to do extra things at work and around the house. And when you’re grieving, you don’t have that energy or that momentum and focus to say ‘Do I have to do this again?’ and feeling like you need to please your family.”
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“A big thing is to give yourself permission on how to take care of yourself during the holidays,” said Andrews. “And sometimes you have to learn how to say ‘no’ and find other ways to remember your loved one that is calming to you and rewarding to you.”
In the Grief and the Holidays workshop, participants shared their experiences with each other and created memory jars personalized to remember their lost loved ones.
One Amarillo woman, who's husband died in hospice earlier this year, says she started feeling holiday grief this Thanksgiving.
“It’s the first year without my husband and I missed him. And I sort of talk to him and pray a lot,” said JoAnn Howard.
But she also said the grief would be a lot harder to handle if she didn’t meet with others going through the same thing.
“You’ll notice after two or three times they’ll start to open up because they hear the way other people have handled their grief,” said Howard. “This group setting helps everyone sort of express themselves. We have a better understanding of what each person is going through, makes it a little easier.”
While Tuesday night’s workshop was the last, BSA Hospice of the Southwest will still have two more grief support groups this month.
There will also be meetings in January as well as a six-week grief support program in February.
“We’re all experiencing some type of grief and loss. It can be the death of a loved one, it can be losing a job, it can be having to move,” said Andrews. “And we have so many grief emotions that we don’t understand we’re going through, and it’s good to learn about your own personal journey to understand what is normal in grief, and to know how to respond to that and to grieve in a healthy way.”