Losing a loved one completely changes the holidays.

“Grief is difficult during the holidays, especially during the first set of holidays without your loved one, because nothing feels the same,” said Lisa Schardein, who helps facilitate the Grief Support Group that meets Thursday nights at Southeast Christian Church’s Blankenbaker Campus. “The holidays are tough. People are laughing and having fun, but you don’t feel like that.”

Southeast’s upcoming Grief & the Holidays Workshop will help people process some of those feelings.

The workshop will be held Saturday, Nov. 23, from 9 a.m. to noon in ATCR 200 at the Blankenbaker Campus. It is free and open to the public.

Topics will include: dealing with expectations, strategies for surviving social events, traditions, self-care techniques, ways to honor your loved one and more.

Schardein added that people at family gatherings might make insensitive comments, or they might completely ignore the situation, which also can be hurtful.

“The workshop is really about preparing people for family time when the family isn’t the same anymore,” Schardein said.

Schardein said those who are grieving need to be aware of what they can and cannot handle.

“It’s OK to skip events if you choose to skip them,” she said. “You have to be honest with yourself. It’s OK to say, ‘I’ll let you know the day of the event if I’m able to come.’”

The workshop will include a large group discussion and small group time. Coffee and refreshments will be available.

Schardein added that the workshop is appropriate for anyone who has suffered a loss in the last two or three years.

“Grief is exhausting and everyone processes it differently,” Schardein said. “I encourage people to focus on the reason for the season.”

Registration for the workshop is not required, but those planning to attend are asked to email Tony O’Daniel at or text him at (502) 507-3800.