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Tips to Help You Cope with Grief and Loss During the Holidays


The fall and winter holidays are often difficult for grieving families and individuals; reminding us of the absence of our loved one. We work to find balance between living without them and holding them in our lives.
Liz Sumner , RN, BSN, MA, the Director of the Center for Compassionate Care of The Elizabeth Hospice, offers suggestions to help people cope with grief and loss.

  • Make a plan for yourself during the holiday season. What is important to you in the way of celebrating the holidays?
  • Tell others that you now experience the holidays very differently and give yourself permission to not participate in the festivities if you are not ready.
  • Assume others do not understand that your holidays have been greatly impacted by your loss.
  • Recognize that everyone in your family may feel differently about participating in activities around the holiday season. Make some changes if necessary.
  • Let others know how to help. Tell them what you need. They won’t know otherwise.
  • Spend time with a close friend who will allow you to “be” and not make you feel odd for being out of sync with things.
  • Consider how to engage in events by purposefully making the one who died part of it- making favorite recipe. Create personal rituals that honor the person who has passed.

“Healing and adjusting takes time and we rely on others to support us, to understand and to bring us back into living more fully again, said Jan Jones, president and CEO of The Elizabeth Hospice. “You are not alone. The Elizabeth Hospice is here to guide and support you and your family.”
The Elizabeth Hospice invites you to attend Light Up a Life, a ceremony to honor the special people who have brightened our lives. The event represents a time to be comforted and to share hope with others. 
The Elizabeth Hospice will host its 32nd Annual of Light Up a Life on Sunday, December 14 from 11:00am to 1:00pm at The California Center for the Arts, Escondido in the Salon, located at 340 North Escondido Blvd., Escondido.
Light Up a Life is open to the public with free admission and parking. RSVP is required, as space is limited, to or call (760) 796-3797. More information can be found online at
About The Elizabeth Hospice
The Elizabeth Hospice ( is the oldest and largest nonprofit hospice provider of medical, emotional and spiritual support to the seriously ill and their families in San Diego County. Since 1978, The Elizabeth Hospice has touched the lives of more than 90,000 patients and families in the communities we serve, regardless of their ability to pay. Through its Center for Compassionate Care and the Jenna Druck Center, comprehensive counseling and grief support services are available for all ages to the community-at-large, regardless of the type of illness or death experienced. To learn more, call (800) 797-2050 or visit the websites at,, and

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