H.U.G. (Hold, Uplift, Gather) for the Holiday
The holiday season is an exciting time for many. But for those coping with the grief or the possibility of losing someone special, this time of year can be difficult to endure.
Sharing your story with others who know firsthand what you are going through can help, especially during the holidays. That is why all Silverado communities and offices offer a variety of support groups to provide a confidential, supportive and empathetic atmosphere to help those who are experiencing grief manage their emotions and meet other Silverado family members with similar experiences.
One example of dealing with grief during the holidays is a special program created by the Silverado North Houston Hospice team. After talking to families and learning how they were affected by the season, Silverado Hospice’s Lueata Evenson, LMSW, created the H.U.G. (Hold, Uplift, Gather) for the holidays program.
What started out as an informal book club grew to become a support group for family members who have lost a loved one. Lueata says, “While working to put together a grief group, I realized that although there are some who could use a support group centered around loss, families really want to talk about living.” She added, “They want the courage to move forward. The problem is that it’s often difficult for them to engage with others.”
The first H.U.G. meeting’s conversation began with a book discussion. With each subsequent gathering, the group began socializing and sharing personal feelings. Participants now take turns choosing different restaurants or locations for their now bi-monthly meetings. Some select restaurants which hold fond memories, but ones they have not wanted to return to alone.
H.U.G. member Kathy, whose spouse recently passed away, describes this support group with the words “love, compassion, understanding, empathy, friendship, guidance, laughter, hope and encouragement that turns into courage.”
The loss of a family member can be magnified during the holiday season and Silverado is available to offer the extra support family members need. For more information or to join a support group, call your local Silverado location.
Slowly, and with some ambivalence, I will begin to experience the new in my life.
Spirituality in its broadest sense is, quite simply, a way of life that reveals an awareness of the sacred and a relationship with the Holy One in the midst of our human frailty, brokenness and limitations.
--Edward C. Sellner
To be faced with the loss of a loved one is to be engaged—or reengaged more intensely—with the experience of the spiritual. Questions of our loved one’s survival, of our own relationship to the spiritual world, of our possible communion with the dead now or after our own death—all come to us with new urgency. Surely if we can summon an awareness of the Holy One as a loving, caring reality, we shall be miles ahead! We can bear the uncertainty of answers to our questions if we feel that the One who is in charge cares for us all, grieves with us when we are sad, and wills our good. This has been the yearning, and the confidence, of believers through the ages. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” said the apostle Paul in the Letter to the Hebrews. These things are no less real for being “not seen.”
--In the midst of my brokenness, O Holy One, may I be made newly aware of you.
"We are real friends now because we have been able to share some painful experiences in our private lives..."