A little girl giggles with uncontrollable excitement at seeing Santa walk down the stairs...
A pre-teen boy anxiously awaits as the announcer calls the next Bingo card selection...
And, a toddler smiles as she clutches her newly acquired baby doll...
What do all of these things have in common? The annual JourneyCare All About Kids Program Holiday Party! With the theme of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” nearly 200 children and their families from our All About Kids palliative care and hospice program were recently treated to food, fun, presents, and a special visit from Santa at the Stonegate Banquet and Conference Centre in Hoffman Estates.
While the death of a loved one is one of life’s most difficult times, the holidays can compound our sense of loss and isolation. When we're experiencing the pain of grief, the last thing we want to do is participate in any kind of holiday celebration. We want the pain to end, and we can’t imagine being around others at a time that is supposed to be full of joy when we are so burdened with sorrow.
This is a normal way to feel, but since we can’t cut out the calendar from late October through early Januaryof the next year, it might be helpful to modify our plans, and most especially to take good care of ourselves.
Consider the following suggestions:
Today on Black Friday, many of us are searching for the very best bargains we can find on our holiday gifts, but I hope many of you will also join me in extending the “thanks” and the “giving” of yesterday a bit longer.
Since joining JourneyCare early this year, this November is the start of my first holiday season as President of the JourneyCare Foundation. This month is also my first time celebrating National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Both events have created a valuable opportunity to reflect on the amazing care our JourneyCare teams deliver to our patients and their families every single day.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to gather with friends and family, and reflect on why we are grateful. The holiday is also a time to remember loved ones who are no longer with us. This year let’s honor those we have lost by doing something special.
As you join your family and friends around the table this year, share what brings meaning and joy to your life. Allowing your family to understand what quality of life looks like for you could help them in the future if they are asked to make medical decisions on your behalf. If we don’t have these conversations, our families may be forced to make difficult decisions without having any guidance from us.