Saturday, October 21 , 2017, 3:25 am | Fair 61º


Hospice of Santa Barbara Offers Advice to Navigate Grief During Holiday Season

Retailers have begun to set up for the holidays, and our neighbors are starting to hang holiday lights and decorate with festive cheer. Radios are playing all the old songs, and the TV is filled with images of loving families. The sights and sounds of the holidays are inescapable.

During the holidays, the memories of those close to us who have died can haunt us with ever more poignancy and our feelings can seem discordant with the world around us. The emotions of sorrow and loss can be powerful and overwhelming, especially for those of us who may still be in the grieving/mourning process.

Everyone grieves, in their own individual way, and it is important to acknowledge and tend the process. The holidays are a time for well-wishing and open heartedness, even to the past.

Hospice of Santa Barbara is offering some helpful ideas for those who have experienced the death of a loved one, to make it through and even bring some joy back into the holiday season. Here are a few suggestions:

» Find a way to incorporate the one you loved and lost into the holidays.

» Understand that the holidays will never be the same as they were before the loss.

» Make new traditions — for example, take the family on vacation if you usually stay at home.

» Help others — take a meal to a homebound person or volunteer in a shelter.

» Buy gifts online or through catalogs if the idea of going shopping is overwhelming.

» Make donations in the name of your loved one.

» Accept invitations that sound the most appealing and avoid the ones that feel more like an obligation.

» Don’t hide your feelings (especially not from children).

» Don’t accept every invitation — be selective about the activities you choose.

» Don’t isolate yourself.

» Don’t conceal your emotions.

Each year in December, families and friends gather for Light Up a Life in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria for a ceremony celebrating the life and the joy of remembrance of our loved ones. At this time, a memorial tree is illuminated with hundreds of sparkling lights and stars, each symbolizing a tribute to a loved one.

Stars will be available at each ceremony for a suggested donation of $15 or more for those wishing to personalize a star and hang it on the tree. All proceeds benefit Hospice of Santa Barbara.

Stars are now available at the following locations:

» Anna’s Bakery in Camino Real Marketplace

» Lobero Theatre box office (ours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday)

» Curious Cup Bookstore (929 Linden Ave. in Carpinteria)

» Peebee & Jay’s (1007 Casitas Pass Road in Carpinteria)

» Montecito Bank & Trust (1023 Casitas Pass Road, Carpinteria)

» Hospice of Santa Barbara office (2050 Alameda Padre Serra, Suite 100), and by clicking here or calling 805.563.8820

Light Up a Life dates and locations:

» Saturday, Dec. 1, 5:30 p.m., Camino Real Marketplace, Goleta

» Sunday, Dec. 2, 5:30 p.m., Lobero Theatre front lawn, Santa Barbara

» Saturday, Dec. 8, 5:30 p.m., The Seal Fountain at Linden Plaza, Carpinteria

Hospice of Santa Barbara “volunteers” its free professional counseling and support services to more than 500 Hospice of Santa Barbara “volunteers” its free professional counseling and care management services to more than 500 children and adults every month who are experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. For more information, click here or call 805.563.8820.

— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing Hospice of Santa Barbara.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >