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Diane Engel: Losing a loved one during the holidays

The subject of losing someone you love or are close to is a tough one to talk about but a natural part of life. As we age we lose more people around us.

The steps of the grieving process are denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance.

There is no time span for these steps to take place. It is based on whatever is natural for you. The pain comes from you missing them in your daily life but this pain is normal.

Some tips may help for dealing with the grief of losing a loved one. Find someone who you trust to talk to about it. Take one day at a time. Enjoy the memories of the person and share them with others. Remembering that you will be with your loved ones again someday, will also give you hope. Carry on your daily routine. This will give you a sense of normal. Don’t apologize for crying. Don’t hold in the pain either. It’s alright for anyone to cry. It’s a part of healing.

The holidays are an especially difficult time to lose a loved one.

Keep family and friends close and go to the holiday parties. You may not feel like partying but just being around others will lift your spirits.

Even if you are experiencing a lot of pain, remember that dulling the pain with drugs or alcohol is not going to get rid of the pain. It will only temporarily mask it.  

Make sure that you are not isolated in your life. Keep in contact with friends and family even after the funeral. Remain active or volunteer to stay busy and even make new friends to bond with.

If you lost your spouse and he/she did some tasks that you are unfamiliar with, you could learn how to do those tasks to remain independent. Take some classes or ask a friend to teach you.

If you are unable to function in your daily life or are having trouble with depression, be sure to get some counseling. Counseling may offer some good coping skills for you and will help you to return to a better life.

Many ways to help the Senior Center

The Senior Center is a nonprofit and receives no governmental funding. We receive some annual township donations, the United Way grant, memberships and donations.

If you would like to contribute to the Senior Center, you can help in many different ways.

You can become a member for as little as $25 per calendar year, give a monetary donation, purchase something on our Wish List and donate it, or purchase a leaf in memory of a loved one on our Giving Tree. You can also donate unused gift cards, craft or sewing items, new or used greeting cards, or Christmas bows and tags.

Thank You

Thank you to everyone, volunteers, donors and customers, who made our Gift Wrap service at the Paul Bunyan Mall a success. Thank you to the Paul Bunyan Mall. We appreciate your kindness.

Wish List

The Senior Activity Center is in need of white copy paper, coffee, postage stamps, paper napkins and monetary donations. If you are able to donate, please drop it by the front desk as it will be greatly appreciated. You can receive a receipt for tax purposes.

Be sure to stop by the Senior Creations Gift Shop, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or on the second Saturday of each month from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Check out what’s new or stop and buy a handmade card.

The Senior Activity Center is located at 216 Third Street NW, Bemidji.

DIANE ENGEL is the Executive Director Senior Activity Center.