Madawaska Valley Hospice Palliative Care Is offering “Help for the Holidays.”

The sixth annual event is being held this Saturday at the Opeongo Senior’s Centre.

Dawn Cruchet is a grief educator and volunteer with palliative care. She says holidays are difficult without a loved one, and with the long, drawn-out season and weather changes, it is especially hard to cope during Christmas time. She adds that family traditions don’t have to be celebrated how they always were and urges people to modify their traditions if they are too painful. Cruchet also suggests those grieving can always resume old traditions another year when it easier to cope with them.

Cruchet says it is not good to go on with the holidays and pretend like the person has not passed away. The best thing you can do is to talk about and honour the memory of the person. Cruchet says creating a new ritual like lighting a candle can help honour the memory of a loved one. She also suggests planning your activities this holiday season so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Cruchet points out that this time of year is hardest for those dealing with the loss of a loved one. However, she says with time, memories will become bittersweet instead of painful, and the act of remembrance will be an easier affair in the coming holiday seasons. She says it is also important to remember that relationships with those still living haven’t ended, rather they have changed.

You can call to register call 613-756-3045, extension 350.