Grief counselors understand and can help

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20 Under 40: JenniferDessoye

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Dr. Jennifer Dessoye is assistant professor of occupational therapy at Misericordia University and owner of Bright Beginnings Early Learning Academy (BBELA). Discontent with the early education curriculum and understanding of human development and neurolo (read more)

20 Under 40: Amy Hlavaty Belcher

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Amy Hlavaty Belcher, 39, owner and artistic director of Abrabesque Academy of Dancing, believes that for those who have been given much, much is expected. “I just try hard to do my best,” she said. I have been blessed with many opportunities and many gift (read more)

20 Under 40: Christopher Hetro

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Chris Hetro, 33, works hard and plays hard. “A strong work ethic is important, but finding balance outside of work is important because life is too short and you need to enjoy it,” he explained. As an electrical engineer and project manager at Borton-Laws (read more)

20 Under 40: C. David Pedri

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For attorney C. David Pedri, 37, it’s all about a combination of qualities that contribute to success. “My philosophy is simple: be open and honest, treat people the way you would want to be treated, with respect, and work hard to attain your dreams. The (read more)

20 Under 40: Ed Frable

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Ed Frable, 28, believes “if I work hard and stick to my word, good things will happen. My crew will not be deterred. We will re-evaluate our game plan and not give up until the job is complete,” explained Frable, the owner/operator of Ed Frable Constructi (read more)

20 Under 40: William H. Bender II

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William H. Bender II, CFP, CIMA, CRPC, loves what he does. “I’m lucky. I come to work every day excited to help the people and institutions we work with,” explained Bender, 34, first vice president at Bender Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch. The fam (read more)

20 Under 40: Angelo Venditti

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Angelo Venditti, 38, heard a call to the helping professions early on. Geisinger Northeast’s chief nursing officer answer was to volunteer for his local fire company. After high school, he became a paramedic, then enrolled in nursing school. Three years a (read more)

20 Under 40: Donald Mammano

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At 20, Donald Mammano began his own company, while attending the University of Scranton. Mammano, now 33, and president of DFM Properties, recalls, as a youngster, holding a flashlight while his father fixed the kitchen sink. “From that point on I was fas (read more)

20 Under 40: William J. Fennie III

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William J. Fennie III, 27, is always knocking on the proverbial door, because he knows one day, one will open. As an investment specialist with Integrated Capital Management (iCM) he cannot take “no” for an answer. “I make cold calls every day to invite f (read more)

20 Under 40: Marcus Magyar

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As an advisor at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, Marcus N. Magyar, CFP, 30, provides comprehensive wealth management and investment portfolio services to business owners, executives, families and high-net worth individuals. His multi-disciplinary team of pro (read more)

20 Under 40: Heather Davis

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Heather M. Davis, 33, director of marketing and communication, is responsible for creating, overseeing and implementing a strategic marketing and comprehensive communications plan for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). She is also responsible for pr (read more)

20 Under 40: Alexandria Duffney

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Alexandria Duffney, 30, is competitive by nature and loves a good challenge. These qualities have led her to her position as associate director of graduate admission at Wilkes University. Here she works with prospective students interested in enrolling in (read more)

20 Under 40: John Culkin

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John Culkin’s tenets inform: “Less haste equal more speed; the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, it is all about what you are made of, not the circumstances surrounding you; and don’t ask someone to walk a mile in your shoes, bef (read more)

20 Under 40: Conor O'Brien

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“What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it,” mused Conor O’Brien.” As co-founder and executive director of the Scranton Fringe Festival, O’Brien, 25, is responsible for leading the development of the overal (read more)

20 Under 40: Jessica Siegfried

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Jessica Siegfried, 38, is senior designer with BlackOut Design Inc., where she is responsible for all creative design at the full-service agency, from traditional branding and print to collateral and front end web design. “I’ve always had an interest in t (read more)

20 Under 40: David Johns

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David Johns’ career path has been shaped by his diverse experiences. As director of structural engineering at Greenman-Pedersen Inc., Moosic, Johns, 39, ensures that his engineering and consultant teams provide clients with their best effort. “We complete (read more)

20 Under 40: Robyn Jones

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Robyn Jones, 38, president of ReferLocal LLC, has learned just as many lessons from her business successes as she’s had from her failures — and she believes it’s important to share that knowledge with her employees. After graduating from American Universi (read more)

20 Under 40: Nisha Arora

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Nisha Arora, 36, tries to be the best version of herself every day. As general counsel for ERA One Source Realty Inc., she realized she cannot control other’s behavior so “I try to focus on myself and how I can be better,” she explained. Arora’s responsib (read more)

20 Under 40: Justin Sandy

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Starting at a young age in Hazleton, Justin C. Sandy, 33, found a passion for running. He became a member then a coach for Misericordia University’s cross country and track and field programs. “It was at Misericordia that I also garnered the profound sati (read more)

20 Under 40: Dr. Ariane Conaboy

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As a doctor of internal medicine at Physicians Health Alliance, Dr. Ariane M. Conaboy, 34, realizes the importance of human life and how fragile it can be at times. Conaboy graduated from Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton with a double major in (read more)

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By Olympia Cianfichi, BSW / CT

You are probably reading this article because someone close to you has died or maybe you have had a different kind of loss. We wish to extend our deepest sympathy and hope we can provide reassurance that you are not alone.

The holiday season is upon us – the “most wonderful time of the year!” Time with family and friends to share traditions, customs and spiritual beliefs is becoming a reality. However, this year is different. … Perhaps you have experienced a significant loss in your life, or experienced the death of someone special. Both can leave us feeling a myriad of emotions and confusion. Our body, mind and spirit is reacting to the loss in the form of GRIEF!

Grief counselors understand the confusion grief may cause in everyday life and recognize that holiday time magnifies emotions. What can be done to “get through” this sometimes difficult time? Here are a few suggestions designed to help us survive this season.

CHERISH MEMORIES

Create a memory tree. Everyone can bring an ornament, made or purchased, in your loved one’s memory to decorate the tree.

Get family and friends together to share their memoires of your loved one. Talk about vacations, events and any special times that are most important to you. Mention your loved one’s name and talk about their favorite foods, music or special sayings they used.

Light a special candle in celebration of the memory of a life and love shared.

Hang a “special” stocking and have those who enter your home write some memories on a small piece of paper. Place into the stocking and read them whenever you wish.

Volunteer to serve a meal in memory of your loved one. Reach out to others in the form of food, clothing, or your time. Giving and caring for others can help ease the emotional pain and help in the healing process.

Make a few batches of your loved one’s favorite cookies and enjoy with tea or coffee to relax.

Decorate a small tree or place a wreath at the graveside. Join as a family, read a poem, say a prayer and have the children release balloons with their own messages tied to the string.

Have children read a holiday themed book that was special to your loved one. Do the same with favorite Bible passages to celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas or other faith tradition.

COMMUNICATE

Communicate by discussing choices with family. Remember, the way in which we deal with grief may be different, talking about plans is important. For example, do we put up a tree or not? Should we have a traditional meal or plan something different? Do we attend temple, church service or Mass together?

Since we all deal with loss in our own particular way, there is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve. Compromise is essential. Working together gives us renewed strength and hope, so choose activities that will benefit most of the family. During the holidays we feel the presence of our loved one’s absence. Finding ways to recognize and acknowledge that individual can bring positive focus to our grief and sooth the anticipation of what the holidays will be like without them, especially for children.

JOIN OTHERS

Our annual Tree Lighting on Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. celebrates the lives of loved ones who have died. Reading and music during this candlelight program help us to remember the significance of a life well lived. Fellowship and refreshments are provided.

Join VNA’s Bereavement Support Group on Nov. 17 or Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. for some extra support and conversation.

Come to our Holiday Tea – Coping with Life Changes on Nov. 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. at VNA. Fellowship, refreshments, music and education provided.

All events held at VNA Hospice 301 Delaware Ave., Olyphant. Call 570-383-5180.

Programs are open to the public with no charge.

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