Hope for the holidays with Adventist Health Castle

HONOLULU (KHON2) - For many the holidays are a happy time of year, but that’s not the case for those dealing with the loss of a loved one.

For those going through challenging times, such as a diagnosis, an accident, or maybe even the death of a loved one, this time of the year can especially be difficult.

This incident does not have to be recent.

Even years later the challenge is still a reality. Jesse Seibel, Director of Mission and Spiritual Care at Adventist Health Castle, provides insight on how we can renew hope during the holidays.

“If you are someone that is feeling down during the holidays, you need to know it’s ok for you to feel the way you feel, explains Seibel.

“If you are sad, it is ok to be sad. If you feel alone, angry, scared, that’s ok too.”

For those not personally going through loss, there are ways in which you can show support for someone who is.

First, show up for the person by stopping by and visiting them, make a phone call, or write a hand written note on the Christmas card you are sending out by the dozen.

Next, you can ask them ‘How are you doing?’ not as a greeting, but as a desire to understand what they are going through.

And last, listen to them.

Don’t try to fix, replace or console.

Remember that grief is not resolved, it’s experienced so try and be present with them.

Especially during the holidays make an effort to invite and include those who are grieving.

Let them know they are remembered.

Let them decide if they can participate.

If they come, take a moment, before or during the meal to acknowledge their presence and let them know you care.

If your family has lost someone, ask if there’s anyone who would like to share a memory of the loved one who is gone.

If you are a family of introverts, let the nonverbal cues speak.

For example, leave a card on the table where tutu’s roast beef dish would go or if someone attempted the recipe acknowledge their attempt, even if it’s not as good.

An additional step someone can take if they are struggling and need help is to reach out to someone you trust: a friend, pastor or priest, or counselor.

Remember that you don’t have to go through this alone, as an individual or alone as a family.

There are also grief groups available.

They don’t take the place of a professional grief counselor, but they allow you to connect with others who are at different stages in their journey with grief.

Adventist Health Castle would like to extend an invitation to their grief group beginning this January, on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, from 6:00 p.m. till 7:30 p.m.

It’s free and open to the community.

For more information call (808) 263-5400 or visit

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