When you’re in it, grief feels as unique as a fingerprint and as long as a morning without coffee.
Eventually, the worst of it passes. But after traversing denial, anger, bargaining and depression, recently bereaved people are left with the most confounding stage of loss: acceptance.
“It’s hard for people after they’ve lost somebody to re-connect with people socially,” explains Elizabeth Anderson, a counsellor who helps people deal with their grief after the death of a loved one. “In my role, I get to hear people tell quite similar stories all day long but other people don’t get the advantage of that.”
In order to help bereaved people feel a sense of connection, North Shore Hospice is hosting Autumn Antics on Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Every Day Counts Centre at 319 East 14th St. It’s a social gathering for people who have lost a significant other, Anderson explains.
The event is intended to be a night of pure fun and to help people realize they’re not alone even if they’re suddenly living as a single parent or planning a retirement without a partner, Anderson explains.
Socially, it’s meant to be an “easy evening,” Anderson says. There’ll be music, light refreshments and games, as well as an adjoining children’s room for attendees who weren’t able to find a babysitter. The idea is to host people who have lost a loved one between six months and two years earlier, Anderson says. In order to provide end of life care for a spouse or relative, many people put their own social lives on hold.
“Ultimately, people do better if they can build up their own social support networks,” Anderson explains. “If this facilitates that . . . the event’s been a success.”
Anderson encourages people who have lost loved ones to drop by. “[It’s] worth taking a chance on just the possibility of making a connection with somebody.”
The event starts at 6:30 p.m.