Article to Help Parents talk to Children & Teens about Connecticut Tragedy
Renowned grief expert, Dr. Alan Wolfelt, has written an article about the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut. The article offers advice to parents and caregivers of children and teens about how to "communicate and cope with an event that has perhaps left them with feelings of sadness, fear or uncertainty."
The National Funeral Directors Association has made this article available on their website and we are pleased to share this link with our readers. Please click here to view the article in pdf format.
Spiritual Services activities may be found on the Upcoming Events page for the spiritual services calendar.
Our Chaplains/Bereavement Coordinators are available to offer grief support to anyone in the community in need of this service, regardless of whether or not you have had a loved one in the Hospice program. Community grief and bereavement support is offered at no charge and is partially underwritten by funding from United Way of Rockingham County. You may reach a chaplain by calling the Hospice office at (336) 427-9022.
Practical Tips for Saying
Doing the Right Things
holidays are quickly approaching, and while many people look forward to yearly
traditions, gatherings with family and friends and the general good feelings
associated with the season, some people dread the holidays. For those who have
lost a loved one during the past year, the holidays may emphasize their grief.
holidays, especially the first ones after losing a loved one, are especially
difficult for one who is grieving. Often, friends and family members of those
affected by a loss are unsure how to act or what to say to support their
grieving loved one during the holidays.
people are not aware that Hospice of Rockingham County is a valuable resource
that can help people who are struggling with grief and loss. HRC provides
bereavement support to the families we serve and we offer services to other
members of the community as well.
Be supportive of
the way the person chooses to handle the holidays. Some may wish to follow
traditions; others may choose to change their rituals. Remember, there is no
right way or wrong way to handle the holidays.
Offer to help the
person with baking and/or cleaning. Both tasks can be overwhelming for one
trying to deal with raw emotions.
Offer to help him
or her decorate for the holidays.
Offer to help
with holiday shopping or give your loved one catalogs or on-line shopping sites
that may be helpful.
Invite the person
to attend a religious service with you and your family.
Invite your loved
one to your home for the holidays.
Help your loved
one prepare and mail holiday cards.
Ask the person if
he or she is interested in volunteering with you during the holiday season.
Doing something for someone else, such as helping at soup kitchens or working
with children, may help your loved one feel better about the holidays.
Donate a gift or
money in memory of the person’s loved one. Remind the person that his or her
special person is not forgotten.
someone that he or she should be “over it.”
Instead, give the person hope that, eventually, he or she will enjoy the
If he or she
wants to talk about the deceased loved one or feelings associated with the loss,
LISTEN. Active listening from friends is an important step to helping him or her
heal. Don’t worry about being conversational ... just listen.
Remind the person
you are thinking of him or her and the loved one who died. Cards, phone calls
and visits are great ways to stay in touch.
In general, the best way to
help those who are grieving during the holidays is to let them know you care.
They need to be remembered, and they need to know their loved ones are
remembered, too. Local hospice grief counselors emphasize that friends and
family members should never be afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing,
because making an effort and showing concern will be appreciated.
More information is available from the chaplains at Hospice of Rockingham County at (336) 427-9022 or from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization at www.caringinfo.org or by calling the HelpLine at 1-800-658-8898.
(The article above was adapted from outreach materials provided by National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization.)