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Happy Holidays?

The table was set with the best dishes and silverware. There were nine specialty foods prepared in remembrance of the nine months the Madonna carried her Son. It was Lisas job to forage for dry grass or hay gathered from around their home. The hay was placed on a silver plate in the center of the dining room table. On top of the hay lay the Oplatek, a wafer stamped with a scene of Christmas. The Oplatek is broken and shared among family members accompanied by best wishes of the seasons. Christmas Eve holds particular significance for Polish families. It is an emotional time where symbols, food and laughter are everywhere evident and where loved ones who have died are remembered. It is a poignant time of the year for Lisa who remembers her Mom. It doesnt get easier. The holidays can prove to be a particularly difficult for those who have lost loved ones. How do people cope? Here are some tried and tested strategies. Lessen your own expectations for the holidays. Be realistic about what you can do and try to refrain from all the shoulds that demand your attention. Try to plan ahead so when the unanticipated grief washes over you the wave can continue on instead of knocking you over. Find ways to bring the loved one into the celebration: make their favorite recipes, bring out special ornaments, buy a gift your loved one would have liked and give it to someone in need, stuff a stocking with notes that describe your feelings, tell one friend about a singular memory. While sight, sound and scent can bring tears they can also forge new traditions while keeping those with important meaning. Cesare Pavese said We do not remember days, we remember moments. High Peaks Hospice has special materials that can help with your grief during this holiday times. Staff within our offices in Saranac Lake, Port Henry and Queensbury would be pleased to send them to you when you call. We wish you the very best during this Holiday season. Referrals for hospice care are given by physicians, nurses, friends, neighbors, the patient or family members. Call 1-877-324-1686 to learn more about High Peaks Hospice or visit our web site at www.highpeakshospice.com .

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