Hope for the Holidays

Coping with the death of a loved one can turn the holiday season into an extremely difficult time. The University of Tennessee Medical Center’s pastoral care, hospice and special care services are holding a special program to help bring hope to those who are grieving. Join Pastoral Care on Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Education Room at UT Medical Center's Heart Lung Vascular Institute. Call 865.305.9704 for more information.

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Certified through the Association of Death Education and Counseling, UT Medical Center chaplain Ron Russell will hold Hope for the Holidays, a special bereavement support meeting, on Friday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., in the education room of UT Medical Center’s Heart Lung Vascular Institute.

“Our goal is for those grieving the loss of a loved one to be able to celebrate the holidays rather than to fear them,” Russell said. “Celebrating involves the person who has died. Death ends a life, but not a relationship.”

During the program, Russell will discuss various aspects of grief. He’ll convey that grief is highly individualized, based on elements such as the personality of the griever and the nature of the relationship that person had with her or her loved one. Russell will let participants know that it’s perfectly normal to have feelings of grief and will explain how they can plan their holiday season in order to best cope with the loss.

“I recommend that people make the deceased part of their celebration in order to bring it out into the open and deal with the emotions,” Russell said. “Dealing with something like this is always much more healthy than avoidance.”

The program is free and open to all. For more information, call UT Medical Center’s Department of Pastoral Care at 865.544.9704 or 865.305.9704.