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Tinsel and Tears: Omaha nonprofit hopes to help community grieve during holidays

Posted at 7:10 PM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 20:17:07-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The holidays can be a time of isolation for those still mourning the loss of a loved one. Collective for Hope, an Omaha nonprofit, is aiming to end the stigma with their annual event Tinsel and Tears.

On Tuesday, volunteers made sure those people felt welcome by doing a bit of decorating at Collective for Hope. Christmas decor and craft kits were assembled by an army of volunteers from Ventura Med.

“We really hope that we bring some levity and some normalcy to a really tough conversation,” said Kelly Morris, director of philanthropy and marketing at Collective for Hope.

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Tinsel and Tears, planned for this weekend and Saturday, Dec. 11, aims to bring those grieving together.

“To let them know that they’re loved and supported and there’s help for them and hopefully this little bit of help for grief’s journey, Tinsel and Tears, will be just a shed of light in a very dark place for many people,” said Zane Forney, a volunteer.

It’s a free chance for community members who suffered a painful loss to talk with others who’ve also lost close family and friends.

“So giving them a place to go, an opportunity to have a conversation, whether it be the first holiday without their loved one, or the 60th holiday without their loved one. It just gives them a place to have support during a time that can be really lonely for them,” said Morris.

Morris says everybody grieves for a loved one at some point. The organization hopes to provide support and normalize feelings and conversations about grief.

“If folks don’t want to do their traditional holiday traditions, that’s OK. So we can give them the permission to say, 'you don’t have to do the thing you’ve done for 20 years because your person’s not here;' you can make a new memory,” said Morris.

Although the online window of registration for Tinsel and Tears has closed, you can call Collective for Hope and set up a time to chat with others who are navigating grief.

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