When someone important to you dies, facing the holidays can be a challenge! Those who are grieving the loss of a loved one often dread the approaching celebrations and this can be a stressful time. This is part of NORMAL GRIEF!
One suggestion for coping with grief is to give your faith the opportunity to help you through this difficult time of life. The religious rituals that occur during the time after death give comfort, closure and perspective to grieving loved ones. A funeral and/or memorial service celebrates the life of the deceased and lifts up our particular religious understanding of life and life after death. Words of comfort from Holy Scriptures remind the bereaved of the love and presence of God. The 23rd Psalm from the Judeo Christian tradition affirms that the Lord is with us and walks with us through the “dark valleys of the shadow of grief.” Clergy persons can offer great support and comfort. For many, faith offers the help to accept the unacceptable!
Another suggestion for coping with grief is to accept and express the powerful feelings that accompany grief. While each person’s grief is individual; sadness, guilt, and anger are very common feelings. Crying is a healthy and acceptable expression of sadness for men and women and releases built up tensions.
Finally support groups can help as you deal with these very powerful feelings associated with grief. The faith community in the Hammonton area has responded to this need and St. Anthonys offers a twice a month group entitled “Tears to Joy”.
The Hammonton Ministerium is sponsoring a new group entitled Coping with Grief. The Presbyterian Church at Hammonton, 326 Bellevue Ave. will host this 3 session support and information group beginning Monday, November 10th from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. (Session 2- Nov 17th, #3 Nov 24th) The group will be facilitated by Rev Michael Bolduc, Caring Hospice Chaplain, is limited to 12 members and is free of charge. Topics that will be covered include coping with grief, tips for getting through the holidays and spirituality and healing. For more information or to sign up please call the Presbyterian Church at 609- 561-0168.
As we approach the holiday season May God Bless and help you through this very difficult time of grief!
Rev Michael Bolduc
Caring Hospice Chaplain