Monthly Archives: September 2016

Surviving the Holidays – GriefShare

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When you’re grieving the death of a family member or friend, you may dread the holiday season. Thoughts of social gatherings, family traditions, and obligations leave you anxious and overwhelmed. Your sadness can seem unbearable. You may wish you could skip these next two months and go straight to the routine of the next year—but you can’t. What can you do to lessen your stress and loneliness?   The holidays trigger tough emotions.

You can start by learning what emotions are normal and to be expected when facing the holidays without your loved one. “If you’re feeling overwhelmed as this holiday season approaches, that’s very normal,” advised psychologist Dr. Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge, whose husband died. “You’re probably wondering how you’re going to handle this and are unsure of what course to take. I want to assure you that you can get through these holidays, and hopefully you can even find moments of joy.”

When you know what to expect, you won’t be rendered helpless as holiday events trigger unexpected emotions. Make a point to spend time talking with people who have experienced a past loss and have already been through a holiday season without their loved one. They can help you have an idea of typical emotions and emotional triggers to expect. These people can also provide much-needed comfort and support.

Create a holiday plan.    Another important step in surviving the holidays is to create a healthy plan for the coming season. “Planning does help you to have a little control, even when you feel totally out of control,” said Dr. Zonnebelt-Smeenge. A healthy plan involves making decisions in advance about traditions, meals, time spent with others, holiday decorating, gift-giving, and commitments.

You will likely not have the energy or the interest in doing as much as you have in past years. Decide ahead of time which invitations you’ll accept, and let the host or family member know that you might leave early. Consider whether your decorating will be different this year: perhaps a smaller tree or simpler ornaments. If you cook or bake, cut back.

Make a list of every holiday tradition you can think of, from music to presents to outings. Then decide which traditions will be too difficult without your deceased loved one, which traditions you’d like to maintain, and what new traditions you can start this year.

Communicate with your family and friends.    What’s also helpful in facing the holidays is to communicate your specific concerns and needs with your family and friends. People in grief are often tempted to put on a mask and pretend things are fine, especially over the holidays. “I didn’t want to put on a damper on anyone else’s joy,” shared Mardie. “So I put on a happy face and tried to be the sister, the daughter, the aunt, that everybody wanted to see. Putting on that happy face was a heavier burden than I was emotionally able to carry at the time.”

Your friends may want you to “cheer up” and “have fun,” when that’s the last thing you want. Others will avoid you because they don’t know what to say and don’t want to make you feel worse. Some family members will give you wrong advice in a misguided attempt to help. All of these people likely mean well, but will only end up hurting you if you don’t communicate what you truly need from them.

As difficult as this may be, it’s important to tell people what they can do to help and what they are doing that isn’t helping. And if you don’t have the energy or inclination to talk to people face-to-face, then write your thoughts, concerns, and needs in a letter or email. What’s important is that you are being honest and gracious in your communication.

In describing the first holiday dinner after she was widowed, Dr. Zonnebelt-Smeenge said, “It seemed like no one wanted to talk about my husband. I kept waiting for somebody to bring up [his name]. After a while I couldn’t stand it anymore. I excused myself and left and bawled all the way home. Later I decided maybe they were waiting for me to decide if it was okay to talk about him; maybe they were afraid if they said anything, they’d make me feel worse. From that time on when I went to an event, I found a way to let people know I wanted to talk about him and I wanted to hear their stories.”

So where can you find out what emotions to expect over the holidays, how to create a healthy plan and how to communicate with family and friends these coming weeks?

A “Surviving the Holidays” seminar on Sunday,  November 5th, 2017 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, 8th Avenue N, North Myrtle Beach, SC from 1:45 PM to 4:00 pm, offers practical, actionable strategies for making it through the holiday season. At this two-hour seminar, you’ll view a video featuring advice from people in grief who’ve faced the holidays after their loss. You’ll hear insights from respected Christian counselors, pastors, and psychologists. You’ll receive a Holiday Survival Guide with practical strategies, encouraging words, helpful exercises, Q/As, and journaling ideas for daily survival through the holiday season.

At GriefShare Surviving the Holidays, you’ll meet with other grieving people who have an understanding of what you’re going through. They won’t judge you or force you to share, but will accept you where you are and will offer comfort and support. “When I went to GriefShare,” said Marion, “I realized there are different ways to grieve.”  It is a confidential, compassionate and safe environment.

Your holiday season won’t be easy; your emotions may ambush you and suck you under at times. But you can choose to walk through this season in a way that honors your loved one and puts you on the path of health and healing.

To register or to find out more about GriefShare Surviving the Holidays, call Fran @ 843-399-8196.

Food For Thought

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

> Think, all of this in less than 8
> years – just think about it!!! Before Obama, there was
> virtually no outlandish presence of Islam in
> America.
>
> • All of a sudden, Islam is
> taught in schools. Christianity and the bible are banned in
> schools.
>
> • All of a sudden we must allow
> prayer rugs everywhere and allow for Islamic prayer in
> schools, airports and businesses.
>
> • All of a sudden we must stop
> serving pork in prisons
>
> • All of a sudden, we are
> inundated with lawsuits by Muslims who are offended by
> American culture.
>
> • All of a sudden we must allow
> burkas to be worn very where even though you have no idea
> who or what is covered up under them.
>
> • All of a sudden Muslims are
> suing employers and refusing to do their jobs if they
> personally deem it conflicts with Sharia Law.
>
> • All of a sudden the Attorney
> General of the United States vows to prosecute anyone who
> engages in “anti-Muslim speech”.
>
> • All of a sudden, Jihadists who
> engage in terrorism and openly admit they acted in the name
> of Islam and ISIS, are emphatically declared they are NOT
> Islamic by our leaders and/or their actions are determined
> NOT to be terrorism, but other nebulous terms like
> ‘workplace violence.”
>
> • All of a sudden, it becomes
> Policy that Secular Middle East dictators that were benign
> or friendly to the West, must be replaced by Islamists and
> the Muslim Brotherhood.
>
> • All of a sudden our troops are
> withdrawn from Iraq and the middle east, giving rise to
> ISIS.
>
> • All of a sudden, America has
> reduced its nuclear stockpiles to 1950 levels, as Obama’s
> stated goal of a nuke-free America by the time he leaves
> office continues uninterrupted.
>
> • All of a sudden, a deal with
> Iran must be made at any cost, with a pathway to nuclear
> weapons and HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars handed over to
> fund their programs.
>
> • All of a sudden America
> APOLOGIZES to Muslim states and sponsors of terror worldwide
> for acts of aggression, war and sabotage THEY perpetrate
> against our soldiers.
>
> • All of a sudden, the American
> Navy is diminished to 1917 Pre-World War I levels of only
> 300 ships. The Army is at pre-1940 levels. The Air Force
> scraps 500 planes and planned to retire the use of the A-10
> Thunderbolt close air support fighter. A further drawdown of
> another 40,000 military personnel is in
> progress.
>
> • All of a sudden half of our
> aircraft carriers are recalled for maintenance by Obama
> rendering the Atlantic unguarded, NONE are in the Middle
> East.
>
> • All of a sudden Obama has to
> empty Guantanamo
>
> Bay of captured Jihadists and let them loose in
> Jihad-friendly Islamic states. He demands to close the
> facility.
>
> • All of a sudden America will
> negotiate with terrorists and trade FIVE Taliban commanders
> for a deserter and Jihad sympathizer.
>
> • All of a sudden there is no
> money for American poor, disabled veterans, jobless
> Americans, hungry Americans, or displaced Americans but
> there is endless money for Obama’s “Syrian refugee”
> resettlement programs.
>
> • All of sudden there is an
> ammunition shortage in the USA.
>
> • All of a sudden, the most
> important thing for Obama to do after a mass shooting by two
> Jihadists, is disarm American Citizens.
>
> • All of a sudden, the President
> of the United States cannot attend the Christian Funerals of
> a Supreme Court Justice and a former First Lady because of
> previous (seemingly unimportant) commitments.
>
> • All of a sudden the President
> of the United States won’t attend the funeral of a
> flag-rank Officer (Gen. Greene) killed in action; he played
> golf. But he sends a big delegation to Michael Brown’s
> funeral. He sends a minor delegation to
> Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. He won’t acknowledge Chris
> Kyle’s murder but he’ll fly the Flag at half-mast for
> Whitney Houston.
>
> • All of a sudden, I’m sick to
> my stomach. I’m not sure the majority of Americans
> recognize the seriousness of the situation and how much
> progress” has been made by Islam these last 7 years, a
> very brief time compared to a 75 year lifetime!
>
>

Saint “Mother” Teresa Statue & Quotes in SC

 

 

 

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Our brand new Saint “Mother” Teresa was on display at Holy Family Church at Hilton Head Island this past Sunday – Always on her knees humbly doing her servitude. Her sayings on the statute are:

“BABIES ARE LIKE FLOWERS; YOU CAN’T HAVE TOO MANY OF THEM” Mother Teresa

“THE GREATEST EVIL IN THE WORLD IS ABORTION” Mother Teresa

A gift from caring persons associated with Hilton Head.

Thank you for this beautiful message.

Marie Coppola  September 2016