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Tufts Medicine Care at Home Offers Free Nature-Based Grief Ritual Workshop for Families

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Lawrence, Mass. – When a loved one dies, mourning rituals can provide comfort, offer a time and place in which to express feelings, and elicit a sense of closure while keeping an important part of the past alive.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, Tufts Medicine Care at Home will offer the opportunity to create a grief ritual in nature on the grounds of High Pointe House, the hospice and palliative care residence located at 360 North Ave. in Haverhill. The event, open to individuals and families with children ages 5 and older, will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with light snacks included.

At the event, Tufts Medicine Care at Home bereavement counselors Kara Cheek and Whitney Hall will educate attendees about the importance and benefits of performing rituals. Participants will then visit three stations along a peaceful wooded path and use the four elements of nature – earth, water, air, and fire (an electric candle) – to honor their loved one, let go of a burdensome emotion or regret, and transform the loss so as not to become stuck in the grieving process.

In addition, information will be available for those who want to perform their own grief ritual in nature. One example is joining with family members to plant a special tree or flowers in their loved one’s honor.

“During the pandemic, so many grievers lost or had to delay religious rituals and other traditions that provide a formalized way to construct meaning around loss,” Cheek said. “It can be daunting when it falls to us to create our own ritual, but in doing so, we promote mental, emotional, and physical growth that ultimately enables us to heal.”

The event is free and open to the public, with registration required by calling (978) 552-4510 by Sept. 19. To learn more, visit www.merrimackvalleyhospice.org.

About Tufts Medicine Care at Home

Tufts Medicine Care at Home, part of the Tufts Medicine health system, provides a full continuum of home health, palliative, and hospice care within all the places patients call home in more than 110 communities throughout northeastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and southern Maine.

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