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Silent Nights: Grief, Stress, and Coping During the Holidays

  • Institute for Spirituality and Health 8100 Greenbriar, #300 Houston, TX 77054 (map)

The holiday season can discourage the expression of sadness, grief, and feelings of separation. Yet for many, the pain of an empty chair at the dinner table, or a sudden diagnosis, can be particularly hard to bear during this nostalgic and sensitive time. Join us as we explore, from spiritual, clinical, and personal perspectives, the nature of grief during the holidays and how it can be managed.

Meet the Speakers

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DEBBIE RUFFING is life long Houstonian. Her husband of 52 years, Greg, died in January of 2017. They lived most of their life together in Houston. Debbie is also a regular member of our Bereavement Group.


DR. VIRGIL FRY is Executive Director for Lifeline Chaplaincy, a non-profit organization in Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Central Texas.  He serves as adjunct professor for Pepperdine and Abilene Christian Universities, teaching graduate level courses on Ministry in Times of Crisis.  He is a published author of two books, and speaks nationwide on the spiritual components of serious illness and grief.  Caryl, his wife of 33 years, passed away in 2007, and since then he also has experienced the deaths of both parents, a sister-in-law, and his father-in-law. 


JOHN K. GRAHAM, MD, D.MIN is President and CEO of ISH. John has led our Bereavement Group, and recently wrote a paper titled, “The Spiritual Power of Social Interaction in Bereavement”.