Coping With Christmas program helps soothe the pain

Christmas is typically a time to be together and to make memories. That’s why the loss of a loved one can be especially painful when Christmastime rolls around.

Age Friendly Cold Lake (AFCL) is conducting a Coping Through Christmas session December 15 as part of its Grief Recovery Program. 

It doesn’t matter what time of year someone close to you has died or how many years have passed in the meantime, says Cathy Aust, AFCL’s manager of program development. 

“It doesn’t matter if you lost them ten years ago or you lost them yesterday. Many people experience that same sense of loneliness that comes at Christmastime when everybody’s happy and just going on with life, and the grandchildren are laughing and running around. And your heart’s breaking,” Aust said.  

“Everybody who has lost someone is feeling these feelings too.”

AFCL will have a social worker and a grief counsellor at the session, both of whom have years of experience helping people deal with loss. They will offer tips and strategies on how to make the season less difficult.

Attendees will be encouraged to talk about how their loss has affected them. Aust said there is solace in knowing you’re not alone in your grief.

“It also gives them the opportunity to realize that there is some support out there for them,” she said. “If they want to come not just at Christmas time, but to any of these other groups, we do have a group called the Grief Recovery Program that we run twice a year. It’s a six-week course.”

In the times when the program is not running, there is drop-in help available.

AFCL is accepting a maximum of 10 people for the Coping With Christmas session. Please see the ad on this page for registration information.

“It’s a very supportive group environment,” Aust said. “It’s just sharing your story and getting some tips on how to cope with Christmas, and maybe finding some solace.”