Cove Blog


Grief During the Holidays

The end of the year brings many activities and can be difficult for grieving families. Some people may look forward to time with friends and family and others may feel overwhelmed and dread the holiday season.

Some Thoughts:

Allow yourself to feel your feelings.  You may feel the gamut of emotions during the holidays from sadness and anger to love and joy. Understand that all emotions are valid and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.  It is ok to laugh and celebrate, as well as to take time out and honor your grief and feelings of sadness and loss.

Care for yourself. The holidays are stressful. Surround yourself with people you care about. Take time for yourself and your body. Exercise and sleep are important to your wellbeing. When you are feeling stressed or exhausted take time out to relax. Read or journal as a way to tap into your inner dialogue.

Discuss what rituals and traditions are important to your family and what may be too difficult at this point in your grief journey.

Here are some new activities that may be helpful to you during the holidays:

  • Light a candle in memory of your loved one.
  • Create a gratitude tree and fill it with paper leaves denoting all of the people and things you are grateful for, even in light of your grief.
  • Create a Memory Meal with the favorite foods of your loved one who has died.
  • Make holiday ornaments with pictures or memories of your loved one.
  • Have a moment of silence at your holiday meal in memory of your loved one.
  • Visit the a favorite spot of your loved one and place a memento or flowers there.
  • Listen to music that your loved one appreciated.
  • Volunteer to help others during the season as a way to refocus your energy.

It is important to be prepared for a variety of feelings at this time of year. Remember that it is best not to isolate yourself, and you may even want to allow others to help you cook or take over some of the holiday activities. The holidays most likely will not be easy, but you can seek to find a balance that works for you and your family.





Thank You to Optum and United HealthCare

 Optum and United Healthcare hosted their 6th Annual Charity Golf Outing in June 2015. $30,000 in proceeds this year benefitted The Cove.  We are incredibly grateful for this huge donation and want to thank the event sponsors: Optum Technology, United Healthcare, Fiserv Output Solutions, Fast Switch LTD, Fishnet Security, Insight Global, KBE Building Corporation and Randstand Technologies along with the many in-kind donors who provided items for the event. Special thanks to golfers and the Event Committee: Mike Cotnoir, Holly DeRenzo, Matt Dion, Andre Dubreuil, Ed Kimiecik, Lauren McGrew, Chris Peterson, Laura Sullivan and John Wrobel. Board Chairman Simon Etzel and Treasurer John Turgeon attended the event on behalf of The Cove.


Cove Gala Co-Chairs Interviewed on Charity Corner

Click the link above to watch the recent interview with Gala Co-Chairs Simon Etzel, Trustee and Jennifer Rubino on Ben Goldman's Charity Corner.


Resources for children, families and professionals working with children

Please see our page LINKS FOR GRIEVING CHILDREN that contains many articles and resources that will help children, parents and professionals dealing with the aftermath and trauma of the events in Newtown on December 14th. 


Wordwide Candlelighting for Children Who Have Died 12/9/2012

Held annually the second Sunday in December, The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting® unites family and friends around the globe as they light candles for one hour to honor and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. As candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time, creating a virtual wave of light, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memory of children who have died in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries. Last year more than 500 Worldwide Candle Lighting services covering all 50 states plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico were listed on The Compassionate Friends national website. In addition, information on services were submitted from 24 countries outside the United States. December 14 there will also be a Remembrance Book on The Compassionate Friends national website where you can post a message to honor the memory of a child, sister or brother, or grandchild. If you are unable to attend a service, we encourage you to light a candle for one hour at 7 p.m. no matter where you may be. For more information, visit We do this . . . that their light may always shine®. (Song is Precious Child by Karen Taylor-Good, written for The Compassionate Friends and available on CD at

Visit the website for information on ceremonies in Middletown, Northford, Old Saybrook and Waterbury.