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Bereavement Services

Grief Resources for Families

Our Bereavement and Spiritual Care Team Members and Counselors are here to help and we commit to walking with you as you grieve and cope with the loss of your loved ones. You matter to us, and we are here for you.

Below are just some of the available resources to assist, and if you need counseling or additional resources, please call us at 301-791-6360.

Grief Resources


On-going Grief Groups

Hearts of Hope

Hearts of Hope is an ongoing open grief support group for any adult who is grieving the death of a loved one. This group meets every month routinely on the following days: 1st and 3rd Mondays (daytime, 10:30 AM - 12 Noon), as well as 2nd and 4th Thursdays (evening, 5:30 PM - 7 PM).

You are welcome to join us in person at Doey's House 11370 Caring Pathway Lane, Hagerstown 21742.

You can view upcoming meetings on our website calendar.

For more information, please call our office at 301-791-6360 or email Maria Reed at mdreed@hospiceofwc.org.

Social Brunch

The Social Brunch is an opportunity for adults to informally socialize and dine with others who understand and respect your grief journey. Social Brunch gatherings will be offered at a local restaurant 1x/month on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 11 AM - 12:30 PM. 

View our calendar for specific dates and locations.

Please RSVP by calling Hospice of Washington County Bereavement team at: 301-791-6360, or emailing Mary Diehl at: mdiehl44@aol.com


Children and Teen Programming

Cherished Memories

Children and families who have experienced the death of a loved one or friend are invited to attend this event. This free support event will include story time, crafts, and resources on coping with the death of a loved one. Hosted in partnership with Washington County Free Library.

Event will be held in the Children's Department (Story Room). 

For more information, contact group leaders by email:
Bereavement Counselor Stephanie Nalley (snnalley@hospiceofwc.org)

Teen Grief Gathering

Teens (ages 13-19) who are dealing with the death of a friend or family member are invited to attend. Connect with others who get it, and learn practical skills in coping with your grief and loss. Drop in and join us for creative expression and conversations. 

Teen Grief Group is hosted in collaboration with the Washington County Free Library - Downtown Hagerstown Branch (Young Adult Department) at 100 S. Potomac St.
The group sessions will be held in-person at the library in the Teen Connect room.

Each week will have a different theme of discussion and creative activity.There is no cost to join or participate.

For more information, contact group leaders by email:Maria Reed (Bereavement Counselor) - mdreed@hospiceofwc.org
Young Adult Librarians - teensdept@washcolibrary.org 


Educational Workshops, offered throughout the year

  • Seasons of Grief Workshops
  • Bereaved Parents Workshop 

Pinwheels for Pregnancy & Infant Loss

This is our 6th Annual Pinwheels for Pregnancy and Infant loss that Hospice of Washington County & Hope Through Birth have offered to the local community in honor of babies born through miscarriage, still birth or neonatal loss. There is no charge to participate in this event. We welcome families whom have experienced pregnancy and infant loss to join us in remembering your baby.

When?
October 2024 - 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Where?
Doey's House
11370 Caring Pathway Lane
 Hagerstown, MD 21742
**They will be placed at the circle as you enter Doey's House.**

There will a name reading, a short walk & reflection as we paused to remember all the babies gone too soon. 

Registration will open soon.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding registration, please contact Stephanie Nalley Bereavement Counselor with Hospice of Washington County at snnalley@hospiceofwc.org.


Remembrance Services

Trees of Remembrance 2023

Hospice of Washington County Bereavement Team is pleased to offer & display the annual Remembrance Tree at Doey's House, the HWC Corporate Office, and at Franklin Hospice Corporate Office. The Remembrance Tree will be displayed during the entire month of December. We invite you to submit your loved one's name(s) to be written on a dedicated ornament for the Remembrance Tree.

Registration is open HERE.

Winter Service of Remembrance 2023

Hospice of Washington County invites you and your family to join us for a Service of Remembrance honoring the memory of Hospice Family members who died from May 1 - October 31st, 2023. During our service, we will read the name(s) of your loved one(s), light candles, share readings and poems, and have moments of reflection.

The Service of Remembrance will be held on Friday December 8, 2023 at 5:30 pm at Lifehouse Church (Auditorium) located at 515 E. Wilson Blvd., Hagerstown, MD 21740

Registration is open HERE.


Lights for Love

To remember and honor your loved ones, we held our annual Lights for Love memorial drive on Sunday, December 3rd. In addition, we would like to share the reading of the names. Please feel free to share this video and watch it on YouTube here: 

Lights for Love Reading of Names


Grief During the Holidays

Although many people consider the holidays, “the most wonderful time of the year,” it can actually be one of the toughest times of the year for those who are struggling with grief and loss. People often begin to experience immense sorrow, feelings of anger, depression, loneliness and sadness right around Thanksgiving and continuing into the new year. While others may be enjoying the sights and sounds of the holidays; the music, lights, holiday parties and festive decorations that are meant to bring us joy, all of those things may also serve as painful reminders of our loss. Our loved one is not with us physically, so it can be difficult to feel connected to those around us, and to the purpose of the holiday season.

If you’re wondering how to get through the holidays this year without your loved one, here are some things to think about that might be helpful:

  1. Remember that grief is a part of the healing process. Some people may be resistant to actually sitting with the feelings they’re feeling, and experiencing the full range of emotions that accompany grief and loss. But, giving yourself permission to feel the loss, is part of the healing. Oftentimes people will try to escape, avoid or medicate feelings by over-indulging in food, drinking too much alcohol, or by just being too busy, instead of giving themselves the freedom to acknowledge and sit with their experience. Attempting to pretend the holidays don’t exist or numbing the pain of loss simply prolongs the anguish. Allowing yourself to experience your feelings is a healthy step toward healing from loss.
  2. Be patient with yourself. Realize that it’s not going to be easy, and do only those things that are special, meaningful or important to you. It’s okay to set healthy boundaries and not feel like you have to agree to every request; be willing to say no if that’s what you need. Eliminate the unnecessary, and set appropriate limits on what you do and what you spend. Do not over commit yourself. 
  3. Make a plan. Realize that this is going to be a new holiday - very different than holidays of the past. Think about changing some traditions or starting new ones.
  4. Build in times to relax over the holidays; take time to just breathe, remember and reflect.
  5. Take the initiative and make your own plans if you do not want to be alone over the holidays. Invite a neighbor to join you, throw your own party, or sit quietly with someone you feel safe and vulnerable with during those difficult days. Do something you truly enjoy-don’t do things just out of obligation or to please someone else.
  6. Some of the worst holiday stress arrives post-season. Plan something pleasant in January and February to help diminish the letdown.
  7. If stress, anxiety, depression, or loneliness become overwhelming, it may be helpful to consult a mental health professional. It’s okay to ask for help.
  8. Think ahead about a response you might give to someone who says, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year.”
  9. Be patient with those who are unaware of the death. Think of a way to let them know in advance.
  10. Find a way to honor your memories. Consider creating a special way to remember and memorialize the person you’ve lost. Whether you decide to place a special ornament on your tree, light a candle every night, or fix your loved one’s favorite food, honoring your loved one is a tangible reminder that although the person we love is gone, the love never dies.

Informational Guide

Strategies, Tips & Adult Color Pages for Grief

Helping Children Cope with Holidays and Grief


DoveTales

DoveTales Camp Logo

Date: September 2024

Location: Claud E. Kitchens Outdoor
School at Fairview (WCPS)
12808 Draper Road
Clear Spring, MD 21722

DoveTales designed for children (ages 6-13) who are coping with the death of a loved one.

DoveTales is an educational, nurturing, and safe place for children to share their stories and to meet others who “get it.” Campers will have the opportunity to learn effective and practical skills for coping with their grief. There is no cost to attend this annual event.

The full day camp event will begin at 8:30 AM and conclude at 7 PM. Group activities include sharing stories, creating lots of crafts, playing games, and enjoying outdoor and nature activities. All meals are included. Parents/guardians are invited to attend a special family dinner to connect other families, learn about camp activities, and honor their loved ones. 

WCPS Outdoor School Informational Brochure

We will be looking for adult volunteers to assist with camp activities and serve as “big buddies” for the camp! All necessary training will be provided. Registration coming soon!

Volunteer Background Check Packet

For more information, please contact the HWC Bereavement team at 301-791-6360 or email Maria Reed at mdreed@hospiceofwc.org.