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bereavement ministry Healing through ritual

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Bereavement Ministry at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 381 Robbins Ave., Niles, addressed loss of a loved one in the recent program “Getting Through the Holidays after the Loss of a Loved One.” The following are ideas to help people cope with loss:

Select a candle and dedicate it to the deceased. Burn it on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays when the physical presence of the deceased is especially missed. Say a prayer to remember the deceased.

Plant a tree or shrub, maybe a favorite plant of the deceased, in their memory. Invite family and friends to the planting. Share memories of the person. This is especially helpful on the anniversary of a death.

Discuss the deceased during the holidays. Tell old stories and laugh and cry. Memories have healing properties, and sharing them helps.

Donate time as an individual or family to a charitable cause in memory of the deceased, or volunteer where they volunteered.

At meals, offer a toast to the deceased. This may be an outward toast or a quiet salute.

Wear jewelry or clothing that belonged to the deceased. It’s a connection to them.

Source: Bereavement ministry