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Lincoln’s Mourning Hope offering free services for grieving a loss during holidays

Published: Dec. 3, 2020 at 7:12 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Across Nebraska, more than a thousand people have lost their lives this year due to COVID-19. What that also means is that there will be more than a thousand people, mourning the loss of a special someone this year during the holidays.

For more than 25 years, Mourning Hope has served as a grief center for people in Lincoln. They provide support and hope for adults, children and families before or after experiencing the death of a loved one.

They say the holidays can sometimes be a challenge, but there are things you can try that may help.

First off, they advise talking about it. Seeking professional help from services like Mourning Hope, doing things like counseling and attending support groups can give comfort in the grieving process and may teach you how to grieve in the way you need to.

Missing that one special person at the dinner table for Christmas is in no way easy, but finding unique, new ways to honor them may bring some joy during a tough time.

“To talk about the person who died, to use their name, to talk about memories, to talk about what you’re grateful for about that person from Thanksgiving or at Christmas, what gift you received from them that you live with each day,” said Pam Dinneen, founder of Mourning Hope.

Dinneen also tells 10/11 sharing these thoughts and feelings may help you move closer toward healing after losing a loved one.

Even doing tangible things like creating a box with memories stored inside or hanging a special ornament on the Christmas tree may lift your spirits. Mourning Hope says writing something you’re thankful for from that loved one or maybe three wishes you wanted for that person on the ornament is a way to let them be a part of your holiday even though they aren’t physically here anymore.

“There’s a lot inside that you want to express and need to in order to heal. Healing is what our goal is, and that doesn’t mean leaving that person behind or getting over them. That’s why often times, people are resistant to healing because they think, ‘Well, that shows I don’t love them anymore.’ That’s not the case at all,” Dinneen told 10/11.

One other thing staff at Mourning Hope says is important to do during the holiday if you’ve lost someone is to take time to do self-care. It may help in how you feel and might bring you an extra bit of joy and relieve some stress.

Through the community’s help, Mourning Hope has always offered its services free of charge, that’s the case now and the founder tells 10/11 that won’t ever change.

If you need help from Mourning Hope, on Thursday, December 10, 2020, they will host their “Holiday Hope” session on Zoom. The session for children and families will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 that evening, and the one for adults only will follow at 7 to 8 p.m. For that registration link, click HERE.

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