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Hospice offers help coping with the holidays

POSTED October 26, 2012 7:40 p.m.

The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time of year, but for some it's a painful reminder of loss.

“The loss of a loved one can be a very difficult time during the holiday season. For some it becomes an unbearable time of the year," said Sandy Ricardo, support service coordinator at Hospice of Emanuel.

Hospice of Emanuel will be holding a special event to help those suffering with loss to cope through the holiday season. The free event will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at Monte Vista Chapel, 1619 East Monte Vista Ave., in Turlock.

The program consists of stations that represent various sorts of distresses and different ideas on how to cope with mental breakdown, feelings of loss, or inability to move on with daily endeavors. One table is specifically dedicated to the loss of a loved one, which will be a “memory table.” Each participant is encouraged to bring a photograph of their deceased loved one, and place it on the table for remembrance.

This year’s speaker will be Erin Nelson, the new director of the grief support program for children titled Jessica’s House. Nelson will share her own experience with the loss of her first husband, as well as the untimely loss of her mother just months after. Her story focuses on being a young mother with very young children, and how she managed to maintain a positive influence despite her unfortunate circumstances.

Though stories can be shared with facilitators, no one is required talk at the event.

Hospice of Emanuel offers ongoing, free grief support groups, as well as one-on-one counseling that focuses on different states of bereavement. The bereavement department can be reached at 664-2550 and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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