Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Tennis Challenge to Support Hope Hospice

The Sanctuary Golf Club on Sanibel is hosting its second annual Hope Hospice Tennis Challenge, which promises to be a weekend of fun for a worthy cause. Proceeds from the event enable Hope Hospice to care for people in need, regardless of their ability to pay.

The event will be held on Saturday, November 20 and Sunday, November 21 at the Sanctuary Golf Club, located at 2801 Wulfort Road, Sanibel. Tournament play begins at 8:30 AM Saturday.

The two-day challenge will feature men and women’s bracketed doubles in elimination rounds, as well as consolation rounds. Bracket winners and finalists as well as the consolation winners will receive awards designed by renowned local artist Lucas Century. The entry fee is $50 per person. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served on both days.

This year’s event is anticipated to be bigger and even more successful than last year’s.

For more information on participating as a player or a sponsor, call Christie Bradley: (239) 472-5276.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Hope for the Holidays Preparation Can Help in Avoiding Holiday Grief

The holidays are often thought of as joyful time of the year in Southwest Florida, with parties, and of course, special times with our families.

However, as Hope Hospice President and CEO Samira K. Beckwith points out, “The holidays can be difficult for people coping with the loss of a loved one. The season may be full of reminders of recent loss in our lives. During the holidays, even feelings of grief from years past can seem fresh.”

Beckwith says thoughtful preparation can help to alleviate the grief and stress. The Pathways of Hope Counseling Center helps families who have experienced loss throughout the year. Hope’s professional counselors offer special suggestions for the holidays.

Those who have recently lost a loved one, as well as their friends, should not try to ignore the loss and pretend that nothing has changed. Recognize that the holidays won't be the same. Expecting everything to be the same might lead to disappointment.

During the holidays, allow yourself, or your grieving friend, permission to do what feels right. At a time of year when many people feel compelled to follow holiday traditions, doing something different can be helpful. For example, you may want to create a new tradition, such as lighting a special candle in remembrance, or donating to a favorite charity in the name of the loved one.

You may want to do something special for others, and when they thank you, you can explain how you did it to honor your loved one.

Avoid additional stress. Decide what you really want to do over the holiday season and give yourself permission to avoid things you don't want to do.

Plan for the approaching holidays. Recognize that the holidays might be a difficult time for you.

The stress may affect you emotionally, mentally, and physically. This is a normal reaction.

Be careful not to isolate yourself. It's important to take quiet, reflective time for yourself but also allow yourself the support offered from friends and family.

The holidays may affect other family members. Talk over your plans and share your feelings.

Respect other's choices and needs.

For more information, call 800-835-1673.