The program staff at St. Joseph's Hospice is opening their event to support the holiday mourning for the public.
"This is the first time we've taken the event to more people and opened it to the public. You do not necessarily have to be one of our customers to come," said Orley Culverhouse, coordinator of Caring Hearts Children's Program, which children and adolescents aged six to 18 who suffered the death of a loved one. "We're waiting for a good turnout and use that as a way to let people know what we have to offer."
The event, Coping Through the Holidays, will be held on December 11 at Holiday in, starting at 6:30 p.m. at 8:30 pm Families with children who have suffered loss will participate in a gingerbread house decoration and community commemorative lighting. Information and resources on how to spend the holiday season will also be provided.
"Vacations can be a really difficult time for people, so the biggest thing we can do is just be prepared and think about the future," said Culverhouse. "What traditions are really important and do we want to keep? What traditions do we want to change or get rid of completely? Give yourself permission to do this and make this plan ahead of time with the family. "
The Hospice staff serves 400-500 clients annually, at no additional cost, as well as offering community care and education.
Culverhouse said the most important thing for the mourning of families is finding a way to honor the person who died.
"When someone dies, the body dies, but our relationship with them does not," she said. "And a lot of what we do at Hospice is just encouraging people to continue that relationship with that person."
A separate grief support for adults will be conducted in partnership with the Lambton Central Family Health Team at Lambton Meadowview Villa on December 10, starting at 6:30 p.m. at 8.30 pm Interested participants can confirm attendance at 519-882-2500.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Dealing with the Holidays
WHEN: December 11, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
AT WHERE: Holiday Inn, Edward Point
DETAILS: RSVP at 519-337-0537 ext. 123 until December 3