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Dealing with grief during the holidays

The bereavement services coordinator of Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County shares tips on how to get through the holidays after losing a loved one.

ELLSWORTH (NEWS CENTER Maine) - For over a decade, the Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County have put on a holiday program for grieving people.

Janice Ronco, the program's bereavement services coordinator, is the woman who runs the event today.

Ronco says, "The holidays are such a hard time for people. They see merriment and people being happy. It brings back a lot of memories, and memories are wonderful, but they can be painful for people who have lost a loved one."

Her first piece of advice on how to best get through the holidays while dealing with a difficult loss is to ask for support. She also says not to feel bad about breaking tradition.

"You don't have to do things the way you always did. You may want to change them. You may not want to do them at all."

If you're feeling up to it, she also suggests memorializing or honoring the deceased in some capacity.

"If you're having dinner, have everyone go around the table and say something about the loved one, or make a toast. Maybe you plant a tree in their honor or light a candle. There are many things you can do to keep their memory alive and honor them."

The holiday program arranged by the Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County is Saturday, December 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 231 Main St. in Ellsworth.

The holiday program is free of charge, but pre-registration is required. Please call (207) 667-2531 by December 3.

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