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Coping With Your Loss Over The Holidays

December 16 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


December 16
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm




CMHA Calgary’s Counselling Department

Every year, over 500 people die by suicide in Alberta. Those left behind are left to navigate an often complex grief process that comes with a loss by suicide. This event will focus on how loss can affect people during the holiday season. The holiday season can bring joy for some people, but many individuals who are working through grief can find the holidays to be a challenging time. For others, the holidays may bring up memories of their loss, and can be tough to navigate because of difficult feelings and emotions. Coping with Loss During the Holidays is meant to create a space for survivors of suicide to connect with others who have a similar lived experience, and know that they are not alone in their grief. This event will also aim to help participants process their grief, and know that other people also experience loss, joy, sorrow and many other emotions connected to the holiday season. We will also be doing a hands-on activities that will focus on resilience, and how to build resilience during the holidays, and will talk about mourning and rituals.

Date: Thursday, December 16, 2021Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm MSTHosted through: Zoom*A Zoom link will be emailed to all registrants by December 15, 2021Registration Fee: A minimum $10 donation is encouraged*Minimum donations of $20 are eligible to receive a tax receiptRegistration Closes: 4:00 pm, December 14, 2021 or until capacity is reached

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have anything prepared in advance?

Attendees do not need to have anything prepared prior to attending the event. If attendees want to share something (e.g. holiday ornament) they have at home to honour their loved one they are welcome to do that, but will not be a requirement. All attendees should have a paper and pen/pencil at their desk for the resiliency activity.

What are the activities?

Activity 1: Group discussion. As a group we will talk about loss and how this affects you during the holidays. The purpose of this activity is to normalize and validate the emotional experience of participants, and create a space to talk about how the holidays can be difficult.

Activity 2: Resilience building activity. Participants will be led through an activity that is focused on building resilience. Building resilience will not only help participants navigate the holidays, but it will also help participants manage their grief throughout the year. Participants will need a pen and paper for this activity.

Activity 3: Creating rituals. The final part of the evening will be a discussion about mourning and rituals, and why they are important. We’ll talk about how the holidays can be an opportunity to remember loved ones, and how having a ritual can help. Participants will be asked to talk about any rituals they have to remember their loved one during the holiday season. I’ll also encourage participants to create rituals for holidays or special events, (ex: putting up an ornament for your loved one, or lighting a candle for them). The purpose of this activity is to have participants think of different things they can do to honour their loved one, and also mourn their loss. This will also be an opportunity for participants to talk about rituals they already have, and support one another through sharing.