ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The holidays can be challenging for those dealing with grief and loss.
Amy Pickett-Williams, a Denver grief therapist, has seen first-hand that the holidays can be particularly triggering.
"When someone has died, they feel an absence in their heart, and not just around death and dying, but it can also bring up losses of other types, such as when someone maybe got a divorce or when they experienced infertility, or miscarriage," Pickett-Williams said. "There are many, many different types of grief that can be triggered this time of year because it's a time of celebration, yet their heart is still really hurting."
On Thursday's Winter Solstice— the longest night of the year— a new, worldwide movement is shining a light on coping with grief.
The volunteer group L.I.G.H.T. (Love In Grief, Held Together) seeks to show those experiencing personal grief that they are not alone and there are resources and help available.
The worldwide, hybrid "Night to Illuminate Grief" event will occur both in-person at First Plymouth Congregational Church and then online via live stream here.
"On the darkest night of the year, we hold the darkest space of our grief in our heart, and we also know that there is light," Picket-Williams said. "Which is why we'll also have a candlelight ritual that night. Even in the darkness, we can find light."
The multi-faith offering will include support from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu and Native American faith leaders as well as mental health counselors.
Program organizers are in contact with grief groups around the world and hope to see the world illuminated with the power of healing.
The first hour will feature a somatic healing workshop led by Amy Pickett-Williams and musician Heidi Thomas. The program is designed to offer tools to help the body and the brain cope with the intense emotions that come with grief.
The second hour will include a candlelight remembrance of grief-inducing loss of all types— death of a loved person or pet, illness, injury, loss of independence, infertility, and life transition— and a closing candlelight vigil.
A Night to Illuminate Grief is sponsored by the Worship and Well-Being Center at First Plymouth Church.
When: Thursday, December 21, 2023
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm (Candlelight ritual is the second hour)
Where: First Plymouth Congregational Church
3501 S Colorado Blvd, Englewood, CO 80113
This event is sponsored by the Worship & Well-Being Center at First Plymouth Congregational Church.
Find out more about the LIGHT movement on their website.