The first year of grieving is the most difficult, here is some help

BARRY’S BAY – Dealing with grief, especially over the holiday season, is the topic of a special gathering sponsored by the Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care (MVHPC). From 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 29, 2015, MVHPC is holding a free “Hope for the Holidays” Bereavement Support and Memorial Service at the Opeongo Seniors Centre in Barry’s Bay. 
The service is an outreach event provided free by the MVHPC to raise awareness of the hospice’s bereavement counselling services. 
The first year of grieving is often the most difficult. For many people, this is particularly so in the long build up to the Christmas holidays. 
The purpose of bereavement counselling is to give people coping skills. Just to be able to share can sometimes help. 
Counselling staff are warm and understanding, focusing on the needs and wishes of the family.
Members of families and friends will likely grieve in different ways since they will have had different relationships with the deceased. It can help to listen to the needs of friends and family members and be able to give each other space. Families can follow traditions or create new rituals to help each other cope better.
“Hope for the Holidays” Bereavement Support and Memorial Service 
The Memorial Service provides an opportunity for family, children and friends come together to share their grief in preparation for the holiday season.
There will be many resources available at the Memorial Service. There will be an opportunity to create a memory bauble in honour of the deceased. “By doing something it seems to help the pain and it is something that can be used each year” said Dawn Cruchet, Grief Educator and Counsellor. There will also be live music.
There will be a candle lighting ceremony, with a reading of the names of the deceased, if so wished. 



Get your November 25, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.