The St. Joseph-Breese Share group will continue the discussion on how to get through the holidays after the loss of a child when they next meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, in the hospital Board Room.
“Christmas can be a challenge for anyone who is grieving but for those who have lost a child, this season, with so much emphasis on children, can be especially difficult,” said Karen Gebke, host of the group with husband Scott.
“In particular, if parents have other children, there is pressure to make Christmas as normal as possible when you may wish you could just skip the entire month and wake up on Jan. 2,” she said.
“Getting through the holidays is a matter of doing what’s right for you and your family,” she said.
“What I do may not be right for you and it may not be right for me a year from now,” she said. “You have to learn what works and realize that your choices will probably change.”
Pressures and expectations from others may also be overwhelming to someone who is facing his or her first holiday season since the loss, she said.
“Many people expect you to ‘be over it’ and enjoy the holidays like before,” she said. “I believe it is possible to enjoy the holidays but with the realization that it will be different.”
Also part of the discussion will be how to—or if you should—remember your child at this season.
“For some parents, remembering their baby or child at the holidays, possibly by lighting a candle, hanging a special ornament or wearing a special piece of jewelry, is helpful but there are no right or wrong answers,” Karen Gebke said. “With a little consideration, you can determine what works for you and your family.”
Share, which generally meets the second Tuesday of each month, is for parents and family who have lost a child and is sponsored by the hospital’s Women and Infants Center.
Everyone is welcome—not just parents who delivered at St. Joseph’s in Breese—and there are no restrictions on how long ago the loss occurred or how long someone can attend. There is no charge.