As much joy as the holiday season brings, for some it can be a painful reminder of missing loved ones who are no longer with us, especially if this is the first holiday season without them. Grief is a natural response to loss. If you have recently lost someone dear to you, you may feel a wide range of emotions, including denial, shock, guilt, anger, hopelessness, confusion, depression, or even an overwhelming combination of feelings. You may not even be able to picture how life will be without this person. Here are some ways to help you get through this experience.

We all have secrets. At least, I mean, I think we all have secrets. 

I have one, but it’s not really a secret – at least not to the people that know me well. In fact, I’ve never withheld it from anyone. It is proudly displayed at my home, at my office, on my vehicle, and on many clothing items I possess. But for you, it is probably something that you don't know about me… and it could jeopardize the future of our reader/writer longstanding intimate relationship. 

Ah fall.  SEC match ups, pumpkin spice, cooler temperatures, and colorful trees are germane to this wonderful time of year. Unfortunately, there’s something else associated with fall: the flu.   

Influenza, or the “flu,” is caused by a highly contagious virus that infects the upper respiratory system and sometimes the lungs. The unpleasant symptoms of the flu can be quite debilitating and cause you to miss out on a week or more of work or school as well as recreational activities. Who can afford to do that? 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and two agencies in Tuscaloosa tackle the needs of domestic violence victims here in our community. 

Turning Point and Family Counseling Service are staples in West Alabama. As we bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence this month, the directors of these agencies, Equiller Mahone (Turning Point) and Larry Deavers (Family Counseling Service) have jointly written this column to highlight the dangers of teen dating violence. 

Each August, I pull out my calendar and try to rein in my activities. I always look forward to a fresh new one. Now is the time. I tend to over-complicate things, creating my own dated calendar each season tailored to my personal goals and my moving target of a work schedule. 

As Avengers: Endgame approaches its closing scenes, there is a sense that something significant is happening in movie history.  Movie franchises are a dime a dozen, but never does one reward its audience quite like this. All the love and loyalty that fans have poured into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is rewarded in Avengers: Endgame, a surprisingly full-blooded three-hour journey of closing the book and saying goodbye. 

Because of the threat of inclement weather, Parents in the Park has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 22. Tuscaloosa’s One Place (TOP) will celebrate local families with this free community event, Parents in the Park.  From 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Parents in the Park will include bounce houses, train rides, food, and many interactive stations designed to engage the whole family.  Festivities will take place at Annette Shelby Park, 1614 15th St.    

A child's life is full of firsts. First steps, first words, first tooth and for parents who enjoy eating out we can add a child's first meals at a restaurant. For preschoolers, ages 3 to 5, the meals may be small but there are big lessons to learn about lifelong healthy dining habits.

Many of us face the same obligations on a daily or weekly basis. Often, we handle these duties with a “fly by the seat of our pants” approach that keeps us feeling dominated by our obligations and leaves us feeling like we have little control over our lives. This is especially true with obligations we do not enjoy, put off until the last minute, or face with anxiety or a sense of dread. 

Governor Kay Ivey has reappointed Jim Page, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, to the Board of Directors of the Alabama Partnership for Children.

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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.



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