We are all unique individuals. We may grieve in different ways. Some people will be very open and expressive with their grief, while others will be more stoic and internalize their pain. Both ways are perfectly healthy….as long as each individual is respected in terms of their style of coping and as long as each person finds a way to release their pain. Some people will release their pain verbally and through tears, others will release their pain through their actions/activity. Find what works for you!
How Grief Can Manifest…
Physically: Tightness in throat, Heaviness in chest, Loss of appetite, Weakness, Shortness of breath, Sleep disturbances, Headaches
Mentally: Lack of organization, Lack of concentration, Forgetfulness, Lack of initiative, Tension, Anxiety
Emotionally: Anguish, Depression, Unexpected and uncontrolled crying, Mood swings, Feelings of relief
Socially: Anger, Irritability, Loss of spontaneity, Withdrawal, Fear of being alone, Fear of being with people
Tips from One Who is Grieving
*Don’t ignore me because you don’t know what to say. Your silence hurts more than you could know.
*Acknowledge my pain.
*Allow me to have my feelings without feeling the need to try to take them away.
*If you haven’t called, and a long time has gone by, tell me that you are sorry, that you just haven’t known what to say. Don’t say you’ve been too busy.
*Be available to me.
*Realize that I may not always feel like socializing, but please don’t stop asking.
*Use my deceased loved one’s name. It is music to my ears.
*Ask me what I need. The answer will change from day to day.
*Don’t leave it up to me to call you if I need anything. The likelihood is that I won’t call.
*Sit with me in silence.
*Let me cry…Help me laugh…Help me remember…Help me forget…whatever I need…Take my lead.
*Hug me and tell me that you care.
Our bereavement services are available to anyone who has experienced a death, no matter what the relationship or how long ago the death occurred. We offer short term individual counseling to adults, teens, and children—individuals, couples, and families. Grief education and support through one-on-one counseling, support groups, workshops and services.
For more information about our Bereavement Services, please call us at 301-791-6360 or stop by at 747 Northern Avenue Hagerstown, MD 21742
Cathy Campbell, LCPC, CT
Manager of Bereavement Services
All services are offered to anyone in the community. To learn more or participate, please call our Bereavement Services Department at 301-791-6360 or click this link – http://hospiceofwc.org/contact-us/for a counselor to contact you.
Hearts of Hope–—Available to any adult who has experienced loss related to a death of a loved one. Offered on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 10:30 am-12:00 and on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month from 5:30-7:00 pm. Drop in anytime!
April 19, 2018, 5:30-7:00 pm -Children and Grief Workshop
When children experience the death of a loved one they grieve, just as adults do. They may not be able to verbalize their grief. They may repress their feelings or express them through their behavior. They may seem not to be affected. But they are grieving, sometimes very deeply. Please join us for the discussion on the grief children experience and how the adults in their lives can help them.
April 20, 2018, 6:00-8:00 pm-Camp Hope N Cope Reunion
Camp Hope N Cope Reunion (for all past camp participants between the ages of 6-13). Join us for a fun time of reconnecting with other campers and volunteers from camp. Please RSVP for planning purposes.
For more information about any of these groups, or to register, please call the Hospice Bereavement Department at 301-791-6360.
May 23, 2018, 5:30 pm – Remembering our Parents
Experiencing the death of a parent can be very painful and challenging. As we enter into the season of honoring them on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, many emotions can be brought to the surface. Not having parents here with us physically can make it tough, of course, but we can find healthy ways of commemorating their lives and remembering them in special ways. Adults, please join us for an evening to honor parent/parents or parent figures who have died. Please call ahead to register 301-791-6360, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
June 1, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00 pm – Children’s Remembrance Service
Hospice of Washington County is hosting a special service for children who are coping with the death of a loved one, regardless of when or how the death occurred. This program is designed for and will be hosted by children from Washington County. The service will include music and activities that specifically meets the developmental needs of children 5-15 years old. All families are invited to attend, and should determine if the event is appropriate for their child based on their uniqueness. Parents/guardians should plan to stay for the duration of the event. The children’s remembrance service will help give children and understanding about their thoughts and feelings of grief, validate their experiences and remind them that they are not alone. The service will be from 6:00-7:00 pm, then from 7:00-8:00 pm all family members are invited to enjoy special refreshments, fun activities and fellowship. Please RSVP to reserve your seat. Call 301-791-6360 or email email@example.com to confirm your attendance.
Other types of grief support—
Healing Hearts – 6-week, closed-ended support group, for specific populations (Loss of Spouse/Survivors of Suicide/Overdose Loss). Offered for 6 consecutive evenings, rotated throughout the year, 5:30-7:00 pm.
Other WorkshopTopics—Educational workshops on topics related to the grief process. Sudden & Traumatic Loss ~ How Children Grieve ~ Teen Grief ~ Honoring Our Mothers ~ Honoring Our Fathers ~ Pet Remembrance
Individuals, Couples, & Families Counseling—Face-to-face sessions available by appointment.
Remembrance Service brings together HWC staff and patient families to remember and honor the memory of loved ones who have died during the past year.
Grief Support for Children – HWC Grief Counselors collaborate with School Counselors to support children who are grieving. Children/Teens are given the necessary tools to assist them in identifying their symptoms of grief and helping them to process their emotions, using healthy coping techniques. Services for children can be provided, with parent/guardian permission, in the home or in the school and offered in individual and/or group sessions.
Camp Hope and Cope is a special camp designed for grieving children who have experienced the death of a loved one, or any permanent loss in their lives. The camp provides a fun, educational and safe environment for children ages 6-13 to talk to one another and to learn effective, practical skills for managing their loss. Camp activities include: Age Specific Group Activities; Swimming—Hiking –Games; Professional Story Telling; Music; Crafts and a Memorial Ceremony. We are always looking for interested campers and adult volunteers. Volunteers (adults over the age of 18) act as “Big Buddies” to the campers, being a friend and helping them process their emotions. All training needed is provided by HWC Camp staff. For more information, volunteer or camper applications, please contact The Bereavement Department at 301-791-6360.
Visit http://hospiceofwc.org/resources/ for helpful handouts and information for adults and children. For referral information, please contact Hospice of Washington County Bereavement Services Department by calling 301-791-6360.