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Program to offer tips on coping with grief during the holidays

Navigating the holiday season can be stressful even in the best of times. Following the death of a loved one, the holidays can be devastating.

Mayo Clinic Health System's Hospice department is offering a free program to help mourners cope with grief during the holidays. There are two sessions available: 1-2:30 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Professional Community Center, 1407 W. Fourth St.

"The holidays are wrapped up in expectations," according to Kelley Adelsman, a spiritual care coordinator at Mayo Clinic Health System. "Come join us for tips how to unwrap your holidays after a loss, giving you the freedom to grieve and enjoy the holidays with your loved ones."

Adelsman will be joined by bereavement coordinator Pam Roe and licensed social work Kathy Bang to discuss coping strategies, how to provide support and the importance of rituals in the grieving process.

"We will be using this seminar to talk about what grief is and how grief around the holidays presents special challenges," Roe said. "We will offer people tangible tips and ideas on how they can cope and empower people to maybe use this opportunity to try new things."

One of the program's messages is that it is OK to celebrate holidays differently after a loved one has died, she said.

Participants will receive handouts to take home and refer to throughout the season.

"Coping with Holidays" is open to all and no registration is necessary. Refreshments will be provided.

Support groups

Mayo Clinic Health System also holds twice-monthly community grief support groups for adults. Groups meet at the following locations and times:

•First Congregational Church in Cannon Falls — 10:30 a.m. to noon, second and fourth Mondays.

•Professional and Community Center in Red Wing — 10-11:30 a.m., second and fourth Tuesdays.

•First Lutheran Church in Lake City — 10:30 a.m. to noon, second and fourth Wednesdays.

For more information, call 651-385-3410.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

(651) 301-7875