"The Hospice team provided excellent care to my mother and our family. Everyone was wonderful to us. This was the most difficult thing we could go through and Hospice was very supportive. The team became family during her struggle. Thank you for all that was done"
It is important that we allow ourselves and others to grieve, remembering that each of us grieves differently. But, grieve, we must! Some emotions we may experience during grief include sadness, anger, guilt, helplessness, and loneliness. People may need reassurance that these are normal feelings, although painful. While grief is a painful process, it can also be a growth period toward a richer life.
Fear, anger, despair and sadness are universal emotions that often are part of the grieving process. However, emotions associated with grief as well as one’s beliefs surrounding death and loss may differ. Bereavement takes place within the context of families and communities. Grief and mourning are worked through via social interactions and specific bereavement practices which vary depending on the cultural background of the survivors.
If there is a lack of understanding regarding a person’s cultural bereavement practices, this can have a devastating impact on the family and friends of the deceased and can result in experiences of unresolved loss and lack of closure. Examples of this are: failure to be culturally sensitive when responding to the death of an Asian mother of young children; or an elderly Islamic male; or a gay adolescent’s suicide; or, finally, the murder of a low-income neighborhood gang member.
Hospice of Washington County Bereavement Department rises to the challenge of the “identity” needs of all people,without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, ancestry, religious creed, handicap, or age.
The following services and resources are made available to anyone (regardless of their enrollment in HWC services) in the community working through the grief associated with the death of a loved one. Our grief services are available to you at no cost.
Healing Hearts is a six-week, education and support group that provides information on the experience of grief and the process of mourning. Each week a trained facilitator presents information related to the management of grief, self-care and healthy coping, as well as leading the group through discussions and activities. A safe and inclusive atmosphere is created. This program is offered approximately every other month. Registration is required. Call (301) 791-6360 today for more information. The next series begins Wednesdays, July 27, 2011, offered from 2:00 to 3:30 pm or 6:00 – 7:30 pm.
Loss of a Spouse Support Group meets the SECOND THURSDAY from from 11:00 AM until 12:30 PM and again from 5:30-7:00 PM. This group is for persons who have experienced the death of a spouse, partner or fiancé. Telling your story or just listening is part of the mourning process, and your journey involves the influence of those special people in your life. This group is a base for developing a community of people who understand and courageously endure the subtleties of spousal/partner loss.
Loss of a Child Support Group meets the FOURTH THURSDAY from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. The loss of a child for a parent of any age is typically an unexpected event, regardless of the child’s age. This group is focused on any type of child loss, of any age, due to any reason and circumstance. Even when a death is anticipated due to an illness, the shock is still deep and the heart-ache is long-lasting. Parents need other parents who understand and listen without interruption, interpretation or the imposition of their own experiences.
Coming to terms with a parent’s death can be a challenge. This group will focus on the loss of a parent, defining grief and mourning, as well as addressing the need for healthy coping and effective strategies for self-care. Click here for a flyer.
The S.O.S. (Survivors of Suicide) group is a monthly support group for surviving family members or friends who have lost a loved one to suicide. Registration is required. Individual counseling is also available. Please call and speak with someone in the bereavement department for more information.
HWC bereavement counselors or social workers are available for persons choosing to receive individual counseling services. This can be done in your home or in our office at 747 Northern Avenue. People who are grieving often need to talk, and may need information about what is normal.
Our volunteers are trained to assist family members through their bereavement period. They are available to provide support and help during the first year of bereavement by both home visits and telephone calls.
HWC staff and patient families come together to remember and honor the memory of loved ones who have died during the past year.
Regaining a social life after the death of a loved one can often be challenging. We host social gatherings to help prepare the bereaved for specific seasons and events; mailings will be sent to announce these events.
HWC maintains books and tapes in which can be borrowed by contacting the Grief & Bereavement Services Department.
Educational Forums presented by HWC Grief Counselors on-site at your place of employment provide basic information on assisting grieving co-workers or employees. We also offer crisis intervention in the event of an employee tragedy.
These services are offered to anyone in the community regardless of prior use of hospice services. To learn more or participate, please call our Grief & Bereavement Services Department at 301-791-6360 or click here for a counselor to contact you.