Grief Support

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 individual counseling to adults, teens, and children—-individuals, couples, and families. We go to schools, churches, organizations, our Community Life Centers, our main office, and family homes to offer education and support. Let us support you!!


For more information about our Bereavement Services, please call us at 301-791-6360 or stop by at 747 Northern Avenue Hagerstown, MD 21742


Bereavement Team

Cathy Campbell, LCPC, CT

Manager of Bereavement Services


In addition to providing services from our Northern Avenue office, we also offer bereavement support at our Life Centers:

Hancock Community Life Center

126 West High Street, 2nd Floor



Hagerstown Community Life Center

20 West Washington Street, 3rd Floor


Emily Crist, LPC, Grief Counselor


Boonsboro Community Life Center

28 N. Main Street



Support Groups

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 – a counselor to contact you.


On-Going Groups…

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!


Closed Groups…

March 21-April 25, 6 consecutive Wednesday evenings, 5:30-7:00 pm-Survivors of Suicide Group

This group will focus on the many issues that arise when a loved one has died by suicide.  We will discuss the many emotional, physical, and spiritual responses; explore ways to manage the intensity associated with the pain; and offer coping strategies. Come, join us, and process with others who can understand this unique type of loss.

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.


Upcoming Events—

Coping with Grief at the Holidays

December 5, 2017,  5:30 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.

Join us to learn some ways to help cope with the demands of the holidays and ways to best cope with your grief during this holiday season. Call us in advance to register and reserve your seat.

We Remember Them…

This holiday season, we invite you to join us in remembering loved ones who have died.

Because grief can be so painful and overwhelming, we are sometimes scared into believing that, in order to begin the healing process, we must sever the bond we had with our deceased loved one. It is actually quite the opposite. By maintaining that special bond, by commemorating the lives of loved ones, by keeping their memory alive, we are better able to find that special place in our heart that is reserved only for them. The relationship continues, just in a different way.

As the holidays approach, we ask you to reflect on your deceased loved ones—on their lives, the impact they had on your life, and what their death has meant to you. We invite you to honor their memory by creating an ornament to be hung on our Tree of Remembrance, located at our office, 747 Northern Avenue, and at our Community Life Centers. We will provide you with the paper ornament you can personalize with the name of your loved one or a message you wish to convey.

In place of the ornament you place on the tree, we invite you to remove from the tree an ornament. Take the ornament home and place it on your own tree in memory of your loved one who has died.

Beginning December 1, and throughout the month of December, we hope you will stop by the Hospice office (Mon-Fri, 8:00-4:30); one of our Community Life Centers in Hancock (Wednesdays, 10:00-2:00 pm), downtown Hagerstown (Mon-Fri, 8:00-4:00), or Boonsboro (Mon-Fri, 8:00-4:30); or Doey’s House (Mon-Fri, 9:00-5:00), to help us decorate our trees.

May you always remember with love!


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-N-CopeGrief camp for kids, ages 6-13. Offered one weekend per year.

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. 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.


  • Age Specific Group Activities
  • Swimming—Hiking –Games
  • Professional Story Telling
  • Music
  • Crafts
  • Memorial Ceremony

Visit 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.