Hospice & Palliative Care of Nash UNC Health Care offers “Empty Holidays” outreach
Managing the First Holiday Season After Losing a Loved One
Facing the holiday season when a family has recently lost a loved one can be difficult. To help those families, Nash Hospice and Palliative Care has created an “Empty Holidays” outreach event – an evening where staff members will help individuals and families face the reality of their loss and its impact upon their holiday celebrations – before the holiday actually arrives.
Keith Griffin is a chaplain with Nash Hospice and is coordinating the “Empty Holidays” program to be presented on Thursday night, December 13, at 7:00 pm in the Nash General Hospital Auditorium.
“This program is designed to help give family members permission to express their grief and even incorporate it into their family experiences. It also shares how to give space to family members who may be expressing their grief in different ways, whatever works best for them,” Griffin explained. “Everyone needs to understand and accept that this holiday season will be different from any that have come before, and most likely, will be different from any to come.”
The “Empty Holidays” program will share a number of coping strategies to help soften the impact of grief upon holiday festivities. Danita Perkins, a chaplain with Nash UNC Health Care and one of the speakers at the program, said, “It’s okay to hurt, and it’s okay to be different from everyone else in the way you cope. It’s also important you feel you have “permission” to continue your family traditions, or you can change them completely.”
And while taking care of others is the main goal for many people during the holidays, Perkins also emphasizes that taking care of yourself during the holidays is important.
Sherri Alligood, director of Nash Hospice, explains that the program grew out of a desire to help those who experienced the loss of a loved one while under the care of Hospice and Palliative Care of Nash UNC Health Care. “However, we’ve discovered such a great need for this kind of assistance in our community, we have opened the invitation to all those grieving a loss,” Alligood said.
During and after the program, there will be time for discussion, questions, and fellowship, along with light refreshments. Anyone wanting more information or to RSVP, should call 252-962-8124.