To help those who are feeling that burden of loss acutely this holiday season, First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge is offering the one-hour program, “Coping with Grief During the Holidays” on Monday, Nov. 29, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The program will be led by grief counselor Steve Herbes, M.S.S.W. Herbes is retired from a private counseling practice in Oak Ridge. He has led periodic community grief support groups several times a year since 2007.
Grief is always challenging, but for those who have recently experienced the death of a loved one, the holidays are especially difficult, according to a church news release.
"The Christmas season is filled with familiar sights, sounds, even smells and tastes, that stir up memories of those who are no longer physically present with us. The pain of loss may be particularly difficult at a time when the world around seems to be filled with happiness and joy," the release stated.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated this already heavy burden of grieving by disrupting the culture’s normal processes for grieving. Visiting those who lost loved ones, offering them food, and attending “receiving of friends” and funerals have been more difficult than normal.
Grieving persons cannot avoid pain, but they can find ways to manage the pain during this time. This workshop will provide an opportunity for grieving persons to learn and discuss ways to cope with the special burden of grief during the Christmas season.
Participants may attend in-person that evening or watch via livestream through the church’s website (fumcor.org). The program is free, open to all, and appropriate for persons at any stage of the grieving process. To better help estimate the number attending in-person, contact the church (865) 483-4357 to reserve your place.
First United Methodist Church is located at 1350 Oak Ridge Turnpike.
This article originally appeared on Oakridger: Coping with grief during the holidays; session in-person or online