Blue Christmas services scheduled for Grundy County

By Devan Gagliardo Program Director Community Foundation of Grundy County

Nov. 9, 2015

Grief … loss … hurting … Alone, these are not words typically used to describe the holiday season; unfortunately, these words are reality for some individuals.

Whether you or someone you know has experienced a recent death of a loved one, a divorce, or your home was destroyed by a tornado, some form of grief is experienced.

It is perfectly normal to feel sad when you have experienced a huge life change, as long as the sadness is not consuming you.

The goal of Blue Christmas programs is to bring people together who are experiencing similar life situations, for support, to validate your feelings, and to gain some valuable tools for moving forward with life so grief does not consume you.

Although the Behavioral Health Alliance does not facilitate any of the Blue Christmas events, we assist in promoting these events.

Blue Christmas in Grundy County continues to grow each year, verifying there is a need for these programs here.

We are happy to be able to inform readers there are four Blue Christmas events in Grundy County during November and December this year.

Below is information regarding each of the Blue Christmas events the Behavioral Health Alliance is aware of:

  • Sunday – “Remembering During the Holidays,” 2 to 3 p.m., U.C. Davis-Callahan Funeral Home, 301 W. Washington St., Morris.

The program will be led by Kathy Cherven, RN, LPC, who specializes in grief counseling, and is open to all.

Refreshments will be served.

If you need transportation, call 815-942-0084.

  • Nov. 23 – For those who are grieving the loss of a loved one: 6:30 p.m. at Reeves Funeral Home, 75 N. Broadway, Coal City.

Call 815-634-2125 for information.

  • Dec. 5 — Angels of Hope Candlelight Remembrance Vigil, 7 p.m. at Campbell Memorial Park in Coal City. A vigil for those suffering from the physical absence of a child.
  • Dec. 7 — Blue Christmas Service, 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 118 W. Jackson St., Morris.

This event is hosted by the church and Stephen Ministries. All are welcome to attend.

For information, contact the church at 815-942-0809.

Although it can be intimidating to attend any event when you aren’t sure what to expect, I would still encourage anyone hurting this holiday season to attend.

Since we started promoting these events four years ago, the numbers of events and participants have grown.

And the feedback from attendees has been positive over the years.

The Behavioral Health Alliance is made up of individuals and organizations that have an interest in behavioral health issues.

We meet the fourth Tuesday of each month, except December and July, at 3 p.m.

For information on the Behavioral Health Alliance, call me at 815-941-0852.

  • Devan Gagliardo is the program director of the Community Foundation of Grundy County.

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