Hospice helps families cope with grief during the holidays

Kaweah Delta Hospice offers free workshop in December to help those who’ve lost a loved one through the holidays

The Sun-Gazette

VISALIA – The holiday season is an especially difficult time to deal with the loss of a loved one. The death of a family member can take the joy out of holiday gatherings and is more likely to lead to depression and dark thoughts this time of year. 

Kaweah Delta Hospice wants to remind those coping with loss that grief is natural and dealing with it sooner rather than later can ensure you don’t miss out on opportunities to honor the memories of those who have passed and to cherish the moments with those who are still with us. 

To foster healthy ways to deal with holiday grief, Kaweah Delta Hospice’s Bereavement Team will present “Grief and the Holidays” workshop in December in Visalia. This free workshop is for those who are experiencing the holidays without a loved one for the first time and will be repeated twice in December.

The workshop will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18 at Kaweah Delta Hospice, 623 W. Willow St., Visalia. Attendees will meet others on similar journeys and explore how they can honor their loved ones and holiday traditions after the loss. The workshop is free, but interested participants should RSVP by calling (559) 733-0642 or e-mailing hospgrief@kdhcd.org.

No matter a person’s age or who has died, the holidays can be difficult and confusing for those who are facing their first holiday after a loved one has passed, said Kent Mishler, Director of Chaplain and Volunteer Services at Kaweah Delta. 

“You are beginning a new chapter and like a book, the next chapter is built on the previous chapter,” Mishler said. “The workshop will help guide people on how to get through this chapter of life and how to begin looking at how the next chapter can be great.”

A person in grief may have many questions or concerns, Mishler said, such as, “Is what I’m feeling normal? How long will this last? How can I survive this?” The workshop is designed to address these issues and more.

Kaweah Delta Hospice, a division of Kaweah Delta, is a not-for-profit hospice that has been providing end-of-life services for adults and children in Tulare and Kings counties for over 35 years. The organization works to relieve pain and suffering at the end of life, as well as provide emotional support and spiritual counseling. Patients and their families are offered a variety of services via a team approach. The team consists of a physician of choice, a nurse, a hospice aide, a chaplain, a social worker and bereavement counseling. The team is designed to assist families in navigating through this final chapter of life.

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