Grief Through the Holidays support group teaches how to navigate loss during winter holiday season

Grief Care Coordinator Todd von Gunten discusses Grief Through the Holidays support group.
Grief Care Coordinator Todd von Gunten discusses Grief Through the Holidays support group.(Katie Reed)
Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 5:44 PM CST
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Grief Through the Holidays is a yearly support group that Central Wyoming Hospice has hosted for over five years. The group is being hosted for adult participants Nov. 15 – 17 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

“So, our support group will acknowledge who’s missing, help folks respond to that, remember them, to give thanks for them, even though it may be sad, but to kind of bring them with you through the holidays but in a different way,” said Grief Care Coordinator Todd von Gunten.

During the hour and a half long meetings, those in attendance will share experiences and learn coping strategies. The meetings will specifically focus on how to work through feelings of grief during the upcoming winter holidays.

According to von Gunten, it does not matter how much time has passed since the death of a loved one, any one working through grief is welcome, “In terms of how long ago the death happened, that’s the idea of having support groups all the time. You might think ‘oh I’ve got this well under control, I’m handling my grief now better’ but then if something comes up six months, a year, eight years later, we’re available for that kind of group support again.”

There will be opportunities for participants to share their personal grief processes and discussions about how the holidays may look different after loss and how to honor the memories of loved ones.

“What are the ways that you’ve experienced the holidays and that you remember fondly, but also how’s it going to be different and how is that going to be hard and how can we either create new traditions, honor old traditions but in a different way, or find ways to take care of ourselves in a very difficult time,” said von Gunten.

The Grief Through the Holidays support group is catered for adult discussions, but there are opportunities for family and individual grief counselling year round for those who may need it.

To register for the support group, call the Central Wyoming Hospice at 307-577-4832.

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