WinterSpring is here for you...
Dear Friends,

Two weeks ago WinterSpring joined the virtual chorus of so many other organizations that day, and we shared our first Covid-19 Announcement via social media. 

Since then, we have been working remotely to explore and implement ways to continue to meet the needs of our community during this time of deep global despair and uncertainty. We are all navigating uncharted territory right now - we're navigating this together, yet many of us may be feeling very alone. We want you to know we're here - just a phone-call or an email away.

WinterSpring is all about togetherness, we are all about sharing stories and sharing space. This doesn’t change - only for now, the space does. We've shifted from physical space to virtual space and we're doing everything possible to make sure a space that still feels safe and comforting to you. A space that still feels like WinterSpring.

I recently learned of the Buddhist mantra Right now, it's like this and it's resonating with me more than the more commonly used expression, This too shall pass . I think it's because there is a certain realness about it. An affirmation that this is hard, and an invitation to explore what is present. Right now this is really hard, and it's okay to acknowledge that.

Below you will find updates provided by our incredible Programs team. We plan to continue to reach out to you on a regular basis through Email, Facebook and by phone, and we invite you to reach out to us.

If you're not already following our FACEBOOK PAGE I encourage you to do so. We'll be using it to post regular updates about our programs, along with other resources and tips to help you through this difficult time.

Our office may be virtual, but we're still able to receive and respond to emails and voicemails daily. WinterSpring is here for you.

Stay safe and be well, friends…

Janine Twining - WinterSpring Board President
Pronouns: she/her/hers

We're Still Here - WinterSpring Programs Update:
As we forge through these tumultuous times, grief and its compounding effects can add even more weight to the feelings of confusion and despair. As overwhelming as this process can be, WinterSpring has always provided safe spaces for others in the community to join and share about their experiences through the wilderness of grief and loss. 

In light of the current health crisis and our commitment to keep our community safe, our support groups will not be meeting in person until further notice. As things progress, we hope to resume to our regularly scheduled support groups. 

To meet the needs of The Rogue Valley, WinterSpring is still open, albeit virtually, and we are currently offering individual phone support to anyone in the community who is grieving the loss of a loved one. These supportive phone calls are provided by our trained volunteer companions, they are our fellow kind and compassionate community members. We also offer information and education regarding children, teen, and adult grief as well as community referral lists and links to resources. We are here to support you in any way we can. 

In Love and Light ~Kandice

Supporting Grieving Youth - Youth Program Update:
Grieving children and teens know what it’s like for their world to be turned upside down. As we face this current health crisis, the feelings of fear, anxiety and loss of normalcy can feel all too familiar. Social isolation can compound these feelings leading to challenging experiences and behaviors. As we move forward, we can help our children and teens by keeping the following tools in mind:

  • Consistency is key – The world and routines we have known have suddenly and dramatically changed. Maintaining a consistent schedule for eating, sleeping, chores, and at-home school work can offer a feeling of safety and comfort in a changing environment

  • Schedule time for fun and family – With social isolation can come a feeling of monotony. Having something to look forward to every day can alleviate the feelings of loneliness and despair replacing it with new and enjoyable activities. Using this time to do things together, as a family, can create new, stronger bonds! Play board games, build a fort, cook or bake together! Letting children and teens choose activities can reinforce feelings of empowerment within their new environments and gives adults a precious opportunity to get to know their children in new ways

  • Continue recognizing and working through grief – The world feels like it is “on hold”. This can be a time of reflection and a chance to build grief rituals into your lives. Having open discussions about what each family member would like to see happen to acknowledge their lost loved one can open doors for new ways to honor our unique grief journeys together. If your family participates in a WinterSpring grief group, keep that time open for grief activities and discussion. Light a candle, make a favorite meal, write a letter to a lost loved one. These rituals can be meaningful ways to take some much-needed time to feel closer to one another and learn more about each other

  • Reach out – Make time to call and face time with friends and family members. This can help remind us all that we are not alone. It is also important to reach out if you are in need of help, resources or information. Moving forward, WinterSpring will be offering several online opportunities to connect and avoid the feeling of isolation that can be so painful for grieving children, teens and adults. Please contact us for ideas and support. We will continue to offer all we can to grieving families and individuals in the Rogue Valley.

If you are not currently receiving updates about our youth programs and would like to do so, please click on the link below to contact Amanda.

Take care of yourselves and each other - we'll see you again soon.
Your Youth Programs Team, ~Amanda, Kevin & Angel.

Caring For You - Companioning & Volunteer Program Update:
In these uncertain times we are having to consider different ways to offer support and continue to be available for those who are grieving. We know that there will come a time when we can meet up again, hug and be grateful for this community and its ability to see beyond the fear. I offer some simple reminders at this time.

As we self-isolate, here are some ways to love and companion yourself:

  • Every day take time to be still, to breathe and check in with yourself

  • What are the things you always put off? Perhaps now is the time to express some creative energy. Paint, garden, write, read, sing, and dance

  • Stay connected through social media, and the phone! Avoid all the fear based drama as best you can. We will be posting more with Facebook to stay connected to you

  • Some people react to fear by not reaching out. Consider those in your circle that might do this and check in with them

  • Share uplifting movies or stories

  • Listen to some inspiring music. A favorite of mine 2 Cellos - Now we are Free It is such a beautiful piece by Hans Zimmer, from the movie Gladiator

  • Within the current restrictions consider what is safe for you and if you can be outside for a short walk that's great. If you cannot exercise, consider getting into the garden, on your deck, balcony or just opening a window. Breathe the air and marvel at nature’s beauty. A few full deep belly breaths of fresh air works wonders, helps ease stress levels and is good for your lungs. Try this exercise: Place your hand on your heart and breathe deep, inhale for the count of 3, pause, and then a full exhale to the count of 3, do this a few times to feel calmer, and grounded. 

Something to look forward to : WinterSpring is collaborating once again with Spirit of Resh Foundation . I have been 'virtually' meeting with Lily Myers Kaplan, founder and author of Loss to Legacy , and we are creating some exciting workshops to bring to you in the future. These workshops will be creative, transformative and empowering experiences. We will share more as we evolve.

In gratitude for our WinterSpring family. Love to all. ~Christine

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