SAN ANTONIO – The Baptist Medical Center is holding its annual Holiday Memorial Service this Sunday to help those who are coping with grief over the upcoming holidays.
The event will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 at Central Christian Church, located next door to Baptist Medical Center on 720 North Main.
The holidays can be especially difficult for families, especially for those who have lost loved ones.
The service will include a special candle-lighting ceremony in remembrance of loved ones lost and Baptist Medical Center Chaplain Rosa Hawthorne will offer advice on how people can cope with grief over the holidays.
Hospital employees are also invited to join in the gathering, to help remember patients and families that they cared for during the past year.
Below are some tips on how to deal with grief, offered by Baptist Health System chaplains.
- Normalize your feelings. Know that the sadness, the anger, the helplessness, or whatever you are feeling is normal. Give yourself permission to grieve. When people ask you, “How are you doing?” you have the right to answer them honestly, if you choose to do so.
- Ask yourself, “What do I want to do this year?” You may find it helpful to try to keep things as “normal” as possible for the sake of continuity. What are your traditions around the special seasons? Or, if it this is too great a burden this year, give yourself permission to do something different or start a new tradition.
- If at all possible, surround yourself with family and people who care. Being alone is very difficult for most people.
- Remember the person who has died by displaying a picture or other special memorabilia and include memories of the person in your conversation. You can light a special memory candle, use a holiday memorial wreath or donate to charity in your loved one’s memory. You can write your loved one a letter and share your thoughts with your family if you feel comfortable in doing so. Also good is prepare your loved one’s favorite food in his/her memory and getting creative in ways to remember your loved one.
- Get plenty of rest and eat appropriately. Grief can be tiring work, especially during the holidays. Exercising can also help.
- Seek out the professional support from a pastor/priest or other counselor if necessary.
- Do not give in to accommodate others if you are not feeling up to it.
- Do something special for yourself.
- Tap into your spiritual resources and accept the gift of peace. Remember this: “It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart,” - unknown author.