Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 8:40 pm | Fair 66º


Tips for Coping With Loss of Loved One During Holidays

The holidays are in full swing, and it’s an exciting time to be thinking about all the wonderful memories that will be made with close friends and family members this season.

But perhaps this year, you are feeling an empty space in your heart for a loved one who has passed away and no longer will be a part of your holiday traditions.

Though grief is a normal part of life, it can be especially difficult to cope with loss during what, for many, is one of the most joyful times of the year.

Hospice of Santa Barbara encourages community members to not just get through the holidays, but to embrace the season as a time for healing. Following are a few tips Hospice of Santa Barbara thinks might be helpful:

» As the holidays near, acknowledge that there will be hard times ahead. Remember, everyone grieves differently, and that it’s okay to not feel okay.

If there are children in the family who are coping with loss, focus on their needs and help them process through their grief.

» Make a conscious decision when it comes to carrying on holiday traditions, or considering starting new ones. Continuing the old traditions may help keep a loved one’s memory alive, but setting new ones may help you to move on.

» Honor a loved one’s memory, whether through a beloved holiday tradition, or by sharing stories about the person with friends. Remember that although they are gone, their memory will always live on in your heart.

» Don’t forget to take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising, but without forcing too much of your energy. Taking care of your body will help alleviate stress and improve your overall well-being.

» Surround yourself with a supportive community that will be with you as you cope with your grief. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

And, in hopes of making the holidays brighter, Hospice invites community members to celebrate and honor the lives of  loved ones at Hospice of Santa Barbara’s 34th annual Light Up A Life ceremonies.

The three ceremonies, to be held in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria, will feature special speakers and guests, entertainment, and the lighting of a memorial tree.

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

Dates and locations:

Saturday, Dec. 2, 5:30 p.m. – Casa de la Guerra, 15 E. De La Guerra St., Santa Barbara.

Sunday, Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m. – Camino Real Marketplace, Storke & Marketplace Drive, Goleta.

Saturday, Dec. 9, 5:30 p.m. – Seal Fountain at Linden Plaza, Linden Avenue, Carpinteria.

To buy a star or for more information about Light Up a Life, call 563-8820 or visit http://www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org/light-up-a-life-2017/.

For more about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.

— Caitlin Trude for Hospice of Santa Barbara.


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