News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 19, 2013

Holiday grief workshops offered at Paris hospital


Special to the Tribune-Star

PARIS, ILL. — For many people, feelings of sadness and loss can be especially difficult during the holiday season. To help individuals cope with those feelings, Paris Community Hospital/Family Medical Center will present free grief workshops in December.

“Coping With Grief During the Holidays” will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 5, and again from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 10, both in the hospital’s Conference Room A. The content will be the same for each workshop, including a question-and-answer session. Individuals and families are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be available.

Carolyn Sutton, licensed clinical social worker at PCH/FMC, will facilitate the workshops.

“Having conducted grief support groups for the past 11 years, I found that 90 percent of attendees have tremendous difficulty managing personal and public expectations of grief during the Christmas season,” Sutton said. “As one attendee said, ‘I wanted to crawl into a hole and come out after the holidays had passed.’ By sharing experiences and talking with others, grievers can often restore feelings of normalcy for each other and develop ongoing support.”

The featured speaker will be the Rev. Neva McFarland of Terre Haute. She is an ordained elder in her church and coordinates the chaplain/patient representative office at Union Hospital. She has a master’s degree in pastoral counseling.

McFarland will discuss the differences between grief and mourning, techniques for managing grief, the individual barriers of healing and strategies for coping with loss during the holidays.

“Everyone struggles during the holidays, some more than others,” Sutton added. “The holidays can be stressful and lonely, and we want people to know that they are not alone.”

To register for a workshop call Carolyn Sutton by Dec. 2 at 217-465-2606, or toll-free at 866-465-4141, ext. 290, and leave a message.