Tonawanda News — Mike Goodlander was leaving the gym one day when he ran into a woman he knew to be coping with the loss of her husband. She said to him, “sometimes I wish I could just skip Christmas.”
The holiday season is usually associated with family and friends, said Goodlander, owner of Otto Redanz Funeral Home. He acknowledged the difficulty of spending the season without the people you’re used to having there.
“Grief is a sensitive topic and the side effects, even though the same stages, can be different for each of us,” he said. “This season is a beautiful time of the year, but extremely difficult to face when some of our loved ones are no longer with us.”
In an effort to bring comfort and peace to those who are in mourning, Goodlander has partnered with Niagara Hospice to hold a grief seminar, titled Grief Never Takes a Holiday, at Otto Redanz Funeral Home to help bring comfort to anyone who is having trouble this year.
Over the past couple years, Goodlander says that many families have asked him for support. Recently people have been worried about the holidays and how to get through them. This is why he called Hospice, who he says graciously agreed to do this seminar.
“The experience of grief is difficult throughout the year but it seems like around the holidays everyone is getting excited about joyful holiday things,” said Jennifer Amor, a councilor and the manager of the bereavement department at Hospice. “But for people who are grieving, the holidays make it harder for them, it becomes difficult, we going to talk about the feelings involved and what experiences you can expect to go through.”
Rob Goodlander, Mike’s father who is a chaplain at Hospice, recounted the story of a woman who credits Hospice’s grief support system with her ability to move forward after losing her daughter.