Free program to discuss grief and loss during the holidays | News, Sports, Jobs


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Grieving a loved one can be extremely difficult, especially during the holiday season, when families come together to celebrate traditions that once included their lost loved ones.

On Tuesday, Caring Connections: A Hope and Comfort in Grief Program will hold its annual Grief and the Holidays event from 7-9 p.m. at the Eccles Auditorium at the University of Utah College of Nursing located at 10 S. 2000 East . The event is free to the public and will include speakers and musical numbers. It can also be viewed online via Zoom.

“The holidays mean an increase in traditions and family gatherings, which highlights the reality that someone is missing,” said Laura Bradbury, project coordinator for Caring Connections. “A warm and comforting moment under normal circumstances is now a very difficult thing when someone is grieving.”

Bradbury said it was very important for those who are grieving to practice self-care measures while on vacation.

“Be very compassionate with yourself and remember to be very gentle, and if you’re with someone who’s just been through a loss, don’t force them to do things they’re not ready to do. TO DO. Give them lots of support,” she said.

Bradbury said whether the loss is a loved one or a pet, people grieve differently and at their own pace, so it’s important to slow things down and plan ahead.

“If you don’t want to attend a holiday party with a lot of people, maybe you could go help set up the party ahead of time and then leave,” she said. “Or maybe you could sit through it for 30 minutes and have an exit strategy if you need it. And if you don’t feel like going there at all, that’s okay either.

In the event of the loss of a pet, Bradbury said creating special memorials for pets can be comforting.

“I had an older client who lost several pets in her life. She had one of those multiple picture frames and filled it with pictures of her pets over Christmas time. She would take it out every year and post it on her wall,” she said. “It was his little pet vacation memorial.”

Bradbury also said it was important for people to ask a grieving person how they were doing and to remember their loved one by name. Let them know that you are there for them and that you will support them during the holidays.

Also, try not to say things that might hurt a grieving person.

“Don’t say it was just your pet and not a human being,” Bradbury said. “Grieving is no respect of persons. It can be heavy regardless of the type of loss.

Bradbury also said it is inappropriate to tell a woman who has lost a child that she is young enough to have another baby or that she still has other children.

“Or that they will find another spouse or that they can have another pet,” she said. “Some people are also hurt when others tell them that God needed another angel or that it’s time for you to move on now. We live in a world that wants the microwave version of grief. “In other words, take two or three days of mourning and then go back to life as it was. It’s not realistic. For someone who experiences a loss, their life is changed forever.”

Bradbury said self-care is delicate and doesn’t always include a massage or a pedicure, although both can be very relaxing. Self-care is more about self-understanding and self-awareness, she said.

“Recognize what you need right now. Maybe it’s not to engage with the world for a while. Maybe it’s about having a healthy diet and getting enough rest. Ask yourself: ‘What do I need now?’ then find a way to meet that need. It could be sitting at your desk and looking at pictures of the loved one you just lost. Maybe that’s a good cry,” she said. “Every day will be a little different, so take it one day at a time.”

For more information on the event, visit uofuhealth.utah.edu/calendar. A zoom link is provided on the web page.



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Ryan H. Bowman