Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Yolo Hospice: Working through grief during the holiday season

By
From page A3 | December 16, 2012 |

* Editor’s note: This column originally was published in December 2011. Times and dates have been updated for 2012.

This is the fourth holiday season since the death of Beverley Radford’s beloved husband. Often, people mark the time by how many holidays have passed since their loss. The loss and grief can be intensified during a holiday, making it effortless to note, if painful to experience. Beverley has an additional hurdle. Christmas Day was her husband’s birthday.

“The holidays are still difficult,” Beverley said. “Not only was Christmas Day my husband’s birthday, a day we spent together, but we traditionally held Thanksgiving at our house — all the kids came over here. That first Thanksgiving, I told the kids I couldn’t do it. They were going to have to take it on.”

Beverley’s son and daughter-in-law have stepped up and hosted Thanksgiving at their home for four years.

“I commend Beverley for having the insight and courage to acknowledge and respect her desires and needs,” said Denise Rose, Yolo Hospice bereavement services manager. “It would likely have been emotionally and physically depleting for her to host the Thanksgiving gathering. It is good that she listened to herself and communicated clearly to her children.”

Denise shared her own recent experience with holiday grief. Her mother and newborn great-nephew died near the holidays three years ago. The family discussed if they would be able to hold a family gathering on that holiday. It was decided Denise would host as she always had, but everyone contributed their own favorite “comfort food.” They called it a Comfort Christmas.

“I learned you can change or replace traditions with what suits your life now, but it is harder for me at Christmas,” Beverley said. “I haven’t felt I could celebrate on the 25th. I’ve wanted to be alone, but I do visit the kids on the 26th to celebrate the holiday. Last year, I went on a cruise and returned Christmas Day. I was busy worrying about getting off the ship, getting a taxi and getting on a plane at the airport. By the time I got home, Christmas Day was almost over; TV was done with the parades and other holiday shows.”

Beverley and Denise found different ways to cope, but it is often difficult to know what is going to be best for you. Yolo Hospice suggests making a list of things you usually do at this time of year — the parties, decorating, cooking, shopping and other details of preparation and celebration. Then ask yourself:

1. Do you enjoy this?

2. Are you up to doing it the same way this year, or would you like to skip it?

3. Would you like to do it, but with changes?

4. What changes?

“Always, and most especially at this time of year, it is important to note grief can be draining and have powerful upsurges when you least expect it,” Denise said. “Consider following your heart and what means most to you. Changing or modifying your approach or rituals may be just the right thing for you.”

1. You have a right to have good days and bad days, or some when you are in the holiday spirit and some when you are not.

2. You have the right to say “no” to friends and loved ones. If you do not want to go to a party, do not go.

3. You have the right to change your mind. If you’ve said you’ll do something and you realize later you do not want to, it is OK.

4. If doing things exactly the same way is not going to be joyful or comforting for you, change things. If you do not have the energy or interest in decorating, having the holiday party at your house, cleaning for the party or cooking, ask for help. Someone else can decorate. Someone else can hold the event. Hire a cleaning crew. Make your holiday meal a potluck.

5. It’s OK to have fun. It’s also OK to be sad.

6. Take care of yourself: Eat right, exercise and watch your alcohol intake. You can nap, do something not associated with the holiday or read a book when you need it.

Remember, nothing you choose to do must be permanent. You can change your holiday every year or not at all. Yolo Hospice drop-in grief groups are free to community members. For information, visit www.yolohospice.org or call 530-601-5756.

— Mary Odbert is Yolo Hospice’s public relations representative. Her column is published monthly.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Winter produce available at Sutter market

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Donations to be distributed during homeless count

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

     
    Speaker will share computer security tips

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

    Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Davis, Woodland are saving water

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

    Words and Music Festival events

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Forum

    Family isn’t keen on relationship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

     
     
    Caring for the aging mouth

    By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

    Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

     
    Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

    We have the right to choose

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We don’t have to suffer

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    City helped immensely

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Rick McKee cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

     
    From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

    Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD men take two tennis matches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

    By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

     
    Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8