We all experience many losses, yet the topic of grief is often avoided. Instead of trying to avoid or deny grief it is best to acknowledge and confront it after you’ve suffered a loss.
That will be the overriding theme when the Central Okanagan Hospice Association conducts a presentation called Befriending Grief on National Bereavement Day.
“Far too many people view grief as something to be overcome rather than experienced,” COHA counsellor Jessica Hughes says. “It’s actually in leaning towards the pain—befriending it, if you will—that will facilitate the eventual healing.”
This will mark the first time COHA has held a formal event on National Bereavement Day, which this year is Tuesday, Nov. 19. Befriending Grief will take place from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. at Kelowna’s Kanata Hotel and Conference Centre, which is located at 2429 Hwy 97 North.
The presentation is free to attend, and COHA will be providing refreshments and snacks during the event.
The overall theme on this year’s National Bereavement Day is “coping with grief together through living and grieving.”
Hughes will be one of four speakers who will impart their knowledge during the event. COHA’s director of bereavement services will teach attendees the difference between grief and mourning, how grief can show up and ways to offer support to those around you.
Mary Ellen McNaughton will speak to the importance of ceremony, Suzanne Thompson will address how to get through the holidays after a loss, and Shawn Cook-Bunka will instruct parents how to support children through grief.
“The most important thing that I will be talking about is how to work with your children during difficult times,” Cook-Bunka says. “Oftentimes kids are overlooked, because parents are trying to protect them. It’s just as important for them to be included in the whole process.”
The event will conclude with a question-and-answer session for those who have any other questions or concerns about grief.
“There’s always a need for it,” Hughes said of the presentation. “It’s a topic that needs to be discussed more.
“It’s for anyone that is seeking a deeper understanding for themselves and/or someone they’re supporting. It could be helpful for anyone.”
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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