As Christmas gets closer, things can feel almost frantic. This holiday, for some reason, seems to take a lot longer to come than the rest. The holiday music starts earlier every year and all of the busyness is almost jarring. For those who are grieving, these feelings are magnified ten times.

Even as I write, I can feel my breathing become shallow and my neck become tighter. As a griever, the pressure to show up with the holiday spirit can feel unbearable (not for everyone).

I want to remind everyone that we are all unique. Some people will find solace in the Christmas season. Some people will experience joy as they hear the Christmas music. We hold space for everyone – for each other, as we move into the Christmas week.

For those of you that feel overwhelmed, a ritual is one way that you can help yourself to create some space in your day. A ritual requires: a container, an intention, and an action.

So that might look like:

The car, music and singing to remember your loved one.

The kitchen table, a cup of coffee and a note book to journal in.

A forest path, a camera and photos.

The living room, with the photo album, looking at pictures.

All of these are ways to remember your person.

There are also bigger rituals that people can do with community. The church service on Christmas Eve, the choir performance you perform in or go to listen to, the Festival of Trees with the family.

We at Hospice will be holding a ritual to remember our loved ones that we share every year with the community.

Our Celebrate a Life Candle Lighting service will be held on

Facebook Live on Dec 12th at 6:30 pm.

This is a beautiful way to use a ritual to create, remember, and to grieve. Poetry, music, and at the end a candle lighting ceremony. We pause….. we reflect….. we feel….Join us to slow down and put the to- do’s aside and intentionally spend some time grieving and remembering.

Denise Torgerson
Community Programs