Where are you located?
Our address is 4919 Monroe Road, Charlotte, NC 28205. We are mid-way between Sharon Amity and Wendover Road. Click here for directions.
What are your hours?
Our services are offered at a variety of times. Please visit our Services page, then click on the specific services you are interested in to see the date/time, or you can also view our schedule on our Calendar.
Why would I want to feel the pain of my grief?
The pain of grief will be felt one way or another. Many try to numb, repress, trick, or delay the feelings attached to grief, but from our perspective that is a recipe for a life numbed out and short changed. If you feel cheated by life because of the loss and suffering you have endured, you will feel even more cheated when you realize you have closed off and shut down. When our hearts are guarded from hurt they are also guarded from experiencing, giving and receiving life. Grief actually holds information for you about yourself, your world, your calling, and your gifts. It is a great treasure and you cannot get to that treasure if you eternally avoid, numb, deny, pretend. If we look inside, at some level we all know this wisdom.
Specific to Grieving during the Holidays:
Why is grief amplified during the holidays?
Grief is amplified during the holiday season because this time of year represents family, family traditions and rituals, a deep sense of belonging, community ties, memories laced with religious traditions, and childhood memories. This time of year is a time where all the images and messages we see are about family, relationships, partnership, togetherness, children laughing, warmth, closeness and for so many of us humans, that is not the case. When we are grieving deeply, when a sudden or even expected loss has come into our lives, we not only have all the cultural norms and images to contend with around what this time of year is supposed to be but we also have the pain and isolation of the grieving during this time of year. There is a cultural pressure to keep a lid on it and not bring any one down and all of those ridiculously isolating messages. Grief is as normal a human experience at the holidays as in other time of our lives. Additionally, it triggers our deep sadness around what was, or what could have been or what will never be. This is real and naturally appropriate to experience. It is a normal part of the grief journey to be triggered around our grief and deeply feel our sorrow during the holidays.
What are some ways to cope with grief individually at this time?
It’s essential to make room for your feelings. Make time every day to feel. Minimizing, ignoring, blocking, or numbing your feelings of sadness, anger and anxiety, the core feelings of grief will make it more intense and isolating. Basically, you will be isolating you from YOU. Taking time each day to ask yourself how am I feeling? And say to yourself, it’s okay, it’s natural, it’s human, it makes sense I am feeling grief. What’s so important during this time, is that you are your own ally. Even though, the world around you may appear as though everyone is skipping down candy cane lane (which is an illusion by the way) you have to be on your own side! You have to say to yourself, while this hurts deeply and is incredibly painful, I know I am doing nothing wrong by feelings intense feelings of grief during this time of year…in fact, it makes me beautifully human.
How can families handle grief together during the holidays?
Families also need to get support from friends who can handle grief such as clergy, trained therapists or support groups. Creating your own family ritual around the grief can be so supportive and deeply meaningful. Let the feelings live in the family and make sure your family doesn’t have an unspoken family rule of no grief allowed during the holidays. The best thing you can do is set an atmosphere of openness.
First, PLEASE do not act like nothing is going on or nothing has happened! This is so toxic and unhealthy for all who are hurting. Don’t be afraid to speak about what’s happening or bring it up. When familes deny the reality of what is going on and make it an unspoken family rule that it’s a bad thing to discuss or in any way acknowledge the grief in the room…well that is CRAZY making. No wonder junior is found sneaking a beer upstairs or Mom is sipping wine out of her coffee cup. The point is, if we don’t allow for the truth to be acknowledged, we have to cope with it someway. Now of course, I’m not saying have a sobbing fest and make everyone miserable but I am saying let the grief live with you during the HOLDAYS. You can do that in simple ways…you can light a candle for your loved one who has died or create a special scrapbook for the family to enjoy or tell sweet memories at a family gathering. The worst thing you can do is pretend like no one is hurting because you want to have a “good” holiday.
What can I expect to get from your programs?
You will receive invaluable information about yourself and the grief journey. You will find an accepting community and a safe place to have your grief witnessed. Our aim is to provide hope, clarity around your own gifts, support, and a sense that you are not alone. You will learn that grief is as valuable part of your life experience as is any other life experience.
What if I can’t afford your services?
The Respite’s mission is to provide services to everyone, regardless of socio-economic status. To this end, we provide Scholarships for those who cannot afford to pay our full fees. Our belief is that every individual has the right to receive healing and support. If you feel you cannot afford our services please download the Scholarship application and submit it to us for review. We will be in touch with you within 1 week of receiving your application.
If I have an idea for a program, how do I let you know about it?
We welcome ideas for additional services and programs that are centered around grief/loss and hope. If you have an idea please contact Mandy Eppley at 704-372-4010 or email her at mandy@TheRespite.org.
What is your cancellation and refund policy?
We ask that all services are paid for in advance. If you find you are unable to attend we will credit your payment toward another service if you cancel within 24 hours of the scheduled service. Unless there are dire circumstances, we will not be able to refund money. We appreciate your understanding of this policy.