The holidays are a time designated for joy and celebration, but for those who have lost someone they love, spending the season without that person can be difficult and sometimes depressing.
There's a program in the Rose City to help grieving folks. The program is called "When it doesn't feel like Christmas", and is run every holiday season through Archbold Hospital's Hospice Center. Hospice staff members say through sharing, the participants are helping not only themselves, but also each other.
This is the season of love and cheer, unless someone you love is not here to share it.
"People think, it's the holiday time, so you're supposed to be happy! Well for somebody that has lost, it's hard to be happy."
At this time of year, folks who are grieving may need extra support. Staff members at Archbold's Hospice of Southwest Georgia say that's where their annual program, “When it doesn't feel like Christmas", comes in.
As part of the program, bereavement groups, one-on-one chats, and memorial services are available up to 13 months after a loss, but members of hospice staff say no matter how long ago you lost someone, you're still welcome to turn to them.
"You think, well, it's been a year, or it's been three years, I ought to be over this by now, and they're not! Something will trigger it, and the wound will be ripped open again," says Rozzie Tullis.
"I tell folks I wish I could give them some magic words or wave a magic wand and make the grief go away, but there's nothing you can really do to make that grief go away," says Chance Barber.
But hospice staff members say time and compassion will help. That's the reason hundreds of grieving families turn to them each holiday season. Hospice workers estimate they help some 250 people affected by losses each year. The program is absolutely free. Hospice staff members say their reward is feeling like they've made a difference.