It was a nice Thanksgiving. The kids were home, Thanksgiving dinner was delicious (which I had nothing to do with), the evening was warm for the Starlight Parade and the best team (Go Ducks!) won the Civil War game. It can’t get much better. I hope you also had an enjoyable and relaxing Thanksgiving. It is a great time to be with family and friends and to start the holiday season full of turkey and good cheer. But not for everyone.
For someone who has recently or even not so recently lost a loved one, the holidays can be particularly difficult. You may be that someone, when those memories of special times together around the holidays come flooding back, along with all of the conflicting questions associated with grief: Shouldn’t I be over this? Am I going crazy? Why can’t I feel happy?
Or it may be someone you know who is experiencing the lost of a loved one; needing your support by listening and being open and present to their quiet and many times silent sadness. It is not a time to offer advice. We all grieve differently and for many deeply personal experiences of loss it takes time and understanding to heal.
Whether it is you or a friend, it can help to find a supportive safe haven where you can cry, share your pain and realize you are not alone. It may be a natural support group such as your church or close friends. Or it may be a professional support group where you can discuss the particular challenges of the holidays.
There are several excellent and compassionate grief support groups open to anyone who has experienced a loss that provide a supportive and caring environment where you learn how to take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Hospice of the Gorge (541-296-3228) offers a support group that meets at 10:00 AM every first and third Wednesdays at 751 Myrtle Street and Heart of Hospice (541-386-1945 or toll free 888-882-1942) sponsors a group that meets every Thursday, 10:00 AM in the lower level Community Room of The Commodore II, 312 Court Street.
Everyone goes through the grieving process differently. Father Joe shared with many that the only thing you can do wrong is to get stuck: get stuck in your sense of loss, your grief, your sadness. As life carries on, you will need to move on and eventually you will. But when, is up to you. It takes time. And until then, the rest or your life is waiting for you.
Several weeks ago I suggested you should be wary of the many e-mails circulating making claims that seem so true and believable. But aren’t. One such cyber legend circulating for several years states that all cell phone numbers will be soon released to telemarketers. To keep your number out of reach of the telemarketers and avoid an avalanche of unsolicited calls, you will need to register your phone by calling the Do Not Call directory before an impending deadline. Although it is not a bad idea to register your phone, the FCC regulations already blocks the vast majority of telemarketer’s calls on cell phones and contrary to the e-mail, you can register your cell phone with the Do Not Call registry at any time. There is not a deadline. The number to call is 1-888-382-1222 and you have to call from the phone that you want registered. You can get more information at www.donotcall.gov.
The Next Chapter Lecture Series will feature John Bailey discussing various aspects of the Cherry Industry in the Columbia Gorge: the changes taking place in the industry, the new innovations and technologies in cherry production and harvest and how cherries are being sold and marketed throughout the world. It is a fascinating story and you will have a chance to hear it next Tuesday December 9th at 11:00 at the Senior CenterMusic can make a cold day warmer, a grey day brighter and a lonely day magical. So if your day has felt a little dreary, and needing a little pick-me-up, try the Center’s Tuesday night music program. Tonight, Hardshell Harmony a popular local band is back to play Bluegrass; on the 9th, The Notecrakers will be playing their sweet sounds and then on the 15th, Penny and Small Change will be playing for the Center’s Christmas Music and Dance which will include finger foods and treats and maybe even Santa. (And Penny has promised to play some holiday music to get everyone into the spirit.) So far no music is scheduled for the last two Tuesdays in December, but stay tuned because things could change. Admission is free but donations are gladly appreciated. Everybody is always welcome no matter their biological age.
You are invited to attend the Handel’s Messiah Community Sing featuring the Community Chorus, orchestra and soloists on Saturday December 6th, 7:00 PM, at the St. Peter’s Landmark Church. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. This community event is sponsored by St. Peter’s Landmark Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The Senior Center was closed for three days, but we got back into the swing of things on Sunday with a group of 19 folks leaving the Center for Portland to see the Singing Christmas Tree and another 100 folks dropping in for an afternoon of music: listening, dancing, jamming and eating pie. (Thanks to everyone who made it such a warm and friendly afternoon.)
Well that is all I have to say this week. Until we meet again, here is quite I want to share again that reminds us there is always hope.
Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all. ~Emily Dickinson