Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County providing grief support group

ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - After the holidays and during the cold winter months, some folks may experience grief related to the death of a loved one or a loss in their life.

That's why Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County are providing a Winter Grief Support Group in 2020.

Jody Wolford-Tucker, the Executive Director says, "We want them to know that is not unusual, they are not alone, and we are prepared to offer support."

Each year, they provide a safe place for individuals to acknowledge those feelings.

She says, "A lot of times when we are grieving, we feel like there is something wrong with us, that we are the only ones feeling this way, and so to come to a support group and hear other peoples' stories and share your own stories with people who understand is so affirming and so normalizing of the process, so it is empowering."

Many people take part in the group each year and leave feeling a little bit better.

Jody says, "To see them blossom after coming in feeling so burdened by feelings of guilt and loss and confusion and sadness and to get the affirmation that that's all normal and that it is okay and to watch them walk out with their shoulders held a little bit higher and making connections with other people in the group, it is a tremendous honor and privilege to be able to provide this support."

Jody says grief can make people feel guilty, but it's important to put yourself first.

She adds, "If you've always baked four dozen cookies and shared them with everybody in the neighborhood, you may feel guilty that you're not feeling like doing that this year. That's totally okay. Taking care of yourself and acknowledging that this year feels a little different is expected. It is important for taking care of yourself."

She also says if you feel like you can enjoy yourself during the holidays, do it.

Jody says, "If you are feeling like you can enjoy the holidays and you can go to a party with friends, that's okay, too. Your loved one would want you to be happy."

The support group is free, but pre-registration is required by January 6th.

The meetings will begin the week of January 13th.

To register, call Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County at 667-2531.