Some of you are looking forward to holidays with excitement. The music on your playlist changed on Monday, the tree never came down, you are rearranging furniture and looking at turkey recipes. Today isn’t for you.
Some of you are already anticipating how to avoid invitations because you don’t want to be asked how you are doing.
Today is for you.
1. On November 9, from 6:30-8:30 pm, I’ll be part of a local event called Surviving the Holidays, No Matter Your Loss. There’s a local church which has grief care and divorce care and recovery care groups that meet on Tuesdays. Once a year, in early November, they gather people in all those groups and invite others and spend some time considering how to survive the holidays. This year, they invited me to open that time.
I’ll be giving a simple to say, sometimes hard to live, framework for walking through the holidays. (Acknowledging the challenges, adjusting expectations, alerting allies, accommodating triggers, anticipating Advent, and articulating a plan). In the discussion groups, we’ll be working on those plans. I’ll also have copies of my books available (I’m now a book guy).
If you are in Fort Wayne, and you are wondering about surviving the next couple months, you are welcome to join us at The Chapel. (And you can meet Hope at the book table)
Register at Surviving the Holidays, No Matter Your Loss.
(It won’t be streamed, but I’ll be sharing parts of what I say at socialmediachaplain.com.
2. On November 14, at 7:00 pm, Parkview Chaplaincy is hosting an online memorial service, streaming live on YouTube. We’ve had these services two or three times a year for a long time, inviting the family members and friends of those who have lost loved ones in our hospitals. In some cases, these are the only services these people have, particularly in the case of infant loss. In 2020, we moved the service online, which allowed families from around the country to watch separately together. If you’d like to join us, you are welcome, too.
3. Back in April, I talked about a new resource called This is Hard: What I Say When Loved Ones Die.
This Is Hard is a collection of things I say to people in the moments and hours after a loved one dies. They are words that I’ve found sitting in rooms and walking down the hall and looking in the mirror. They are the responses to things people like you and I say in our moments of loss. Since then, a number of people have found this book helpful to learn what to say OR to hear as words to them. You may find it helpful, too.