Bereaved Families of Ontario hosting sessions to help with grief during holidays

KITCHENER – This time of year can be difficult when grieving the death of a loved one.

Finding ways to cope during the holidays can be an important tool to help manage this difficult time.

Every year, the Midwestern Region chapter of Bereaved Families of Ontario (BFO-MR) hosts “Anything But Merry” information sessions to share ideas and strategies to help make the season a little brighter.

“The holiday season can be incredibly tough for people who are grieving,” says Jaime Bickerton, executive director of BFO-MR. “The loss can feel more pronounced, and it can be an overwhelming time of emotions and unrealistic expectations that can make this time of year extremely difficult to manage.”

Participants at Anything But Merry sessions will learn tips, ideas and coping strategies.

While the education sessions are geared specially towards individuals who are grieving, they are also beneficial to anyone who might be supporting someone who has experienced a death.

“We get a lot of questions at this time of year around how friends, co-workers, neighbours and other family members can help make the holidays a little easier for someone they know who is grieving,” says Bickerton. “Anything But Merry provides a lot of realistic and practical ideas that you can take home and put into practice.”

Anything But Merry sessions are one hour in length and free of charge. Registration is required and can be completed online at or by contacting the office at 519-603-0196.

2019 dates and locations

– Mount Forest: Nov. 18 at 6pm Claire Stewart Medical Clinic;

– Fergus: Nov. 19 at 7pm, Centre Wellington Community Sportsplex, Boardroom B;

– Breslau: Nov. 27 at 7pm, Memory Gardens;

– Elmira: Nov. 28 at 7pm, Woolwich Community Services;

– Waterloo: Dec. 9 at 7pm, John M Harper Branch – WPL;

– Guelph: Dec. 12 at 7pm, YMCA-YWCA of Guelph;

– Cambridge: Dec. 12 at 7pm, Idea Exchange, Old Post Office location; and

– New Hamburg: Dec. 18 at 7pm, Interfaith Community Counselling.