This is a press release submitted to the Las Vegas Sun. It has not been verified or edited by the Sun.
Hope for the Holidays: Solari Hospice Care Offers Ongoing Grief Support Groups
Published on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 (10:33 a.m.)Las Vegas, Nev. – Nov. 30, 2012 – The stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can seem like the longest, loneliest time of the year for people facing the recent death of a loved one. The first of any occasion can be difficult. The usual holiday hustle and bustle loses its luster. Traditions might feel incomplete.
If you or someone you know is struggling with grief, rest assured that you do not need to grieve in solitude. To help individuals find healthy ways to heal and cope, Solari Hospice Care bereavement specialists want to remind the community that they offer two free ongoing weekly Grief Support Groups on Tuesdays, from 5 to 7 p.m., and on Fridays, from 10 a.m. to noon. Both groups meet in the Solari Hospice Care Administrative Building, 5550 S. Jones Blvd. All members of the public are invited to attend.
“People do not have to pretend that their loss doesn’t hurt,” says Chris Kopoew, bereavement counselor, Solari Hospice Care. “The dilemma becomes how to celebrate the holidays without the loved one being physically present. I often encourage mourners to expand their vision and realize that spiritually and emotionally that special person will always be with them.”
Thera Wright lost her 61-year-old mother following a stroke in March 2012 and has found Solari’s Grief Support Group to be a lifeline as she processes her loss.
“Losing my mother has been a huge readjustment,” says Wright. “It’s a new normal, whether you like it or not. Part of me wants to be happy for her that she’s not suffering or in pain, but part of me also feels gypped and angry because she died at such a young age and my kids will never know their grandmother. I’ve had a lot of conflicting emotions.”
Wright says the camaraderie and companionship she has received from others in the support group has been invaluable.
“Just listening to other people’s personal stories and feeling like you’re not so alone has been an important part of the healing process,” notes Wright. “Everyone has been so supportive. I’ve made friends with others in the group who have lost loved ones. A couple of group members have taken me under their wing, so to speak, and helped me with the roller coaster of emotions. Also, the tools and resources we’ve gotten from Chris during the group have been great. He’s guided me toward some wonderful videos, books and paper exercises that have really helped.”
Kopoew offers the following tips to help grievers survive the holiday blues:
• Give yourself permission to grieve.
• Retell the story of your loved one.
• Be judicious and selective with your social activities. If you don’t feeling like attending a party, skip it.
• Set aside time to mourn during the holidays and don’t try to bottle up your feelings.
• Accept help from family, friends and neighbors.
• Honor your loved one with a special ceremony or other symbolic gesture that follows your spiritual or religious traditions. This can be something as simple as lighting a holiday candle in their memory.
• Don’t feel pressured. Make decisions that feel right to you, and accept that holidays are a part of the mourning process.
• Remember that the grief experience is unique to every person. No emotions are right or wrong. At times, you might feel joyful; at other times, you might shed tears.
• Share your experience with other grieving people. Know that you aren’t alone.
• Consider joining a bereavement support group.
To register for one of Solari’s Grief Support Groups or for more information, contact Chris Kopoew, bereavement counselor, Solari Hospice Care, at 702-870-0000.
Solari Hospice Care is devoted to helping people live with dignity and comfort by providing trusted and professional hospice care in the Las Vegas community. Focused on enhancing the quality of life for patients and their loved ones, Solari’s exemplary team of physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses, certified nursing aides, social workers, administrative staff and counselors are specially trained to offer the most compassionate and comforting care designed for each patient’s unique needs. To learn more about Solari Hospice Care, please visit www.solarihospice.com, e-mail [email protected] or follow @SolariHospice on Twitter or Facebook.