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Bereavement Services

Grief Resources for Families

Hospice of Washington County is grieving with those who are suffering due to the tragic loss of loved ones following the mass shooting at the Columbia Machine manufacturing plant in Smithsburg, MD, yesterday. This event has shaken our community; we are your neighbors, friends and family members, and several of us have been affected personally by this terrible event. We have reached out to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department and will remain available to assist as needed.

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).

This group is now available in hybrid format. You are welcome to join on Zoom, or you can join us in person at Doey's House 11370 Caring Pathway Lane, Hagerstown 21742. COVID screenings and masks are required.

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

Memorial Craft Workshops

Join us for an opportunity for creative grief and memorial heARTwork. Participants are invited to bring pictures, as well as articles of their loved one's clothing to make various crafts. Children, teens, and adults are welcome to attend at no cost. Craft materials will be provided to create seasonal memorial projects. 

Will be held in partnership with guest facilitator, Lisa Rawlings. 

View Lisa's website here: https://www.abushelandapeckxo.com/

All events will be held at the address below: 

Michael's
Crosspoint Shopping Center
17225 Cole Rd.
Hagerstown, MD 21740

Workshop will be held in the community classroom in the store. 

View our calendar for specific dates and times.

Space is limited! Please RSVP for this date and future Memorial Craft Workshops here: https://forms.office.com/r/Wv4wtiNXsY

For questions or more information, contact Maria Reed at mdreed@hospiceofwc.org or call Hospice of Washington County at 301-791-6360. 

 

Closed-Ended Grief Groups

(Offered for 6 week sessions throughout the year)

Teen Grief Group, offered in the summer

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

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 (per current COVID-19 guidelines). 

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

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

The Teen Grief Group sessions would be held in-person at 2:30 - 4 PM on the following dates: 

Wednesday June 22nd
Wednesday June 29th 
Wednesday July 13th 
Wednesday July 20th 
Wednesday July 27th
Wednesday August 3rd 

Educational Workshops, offered throughout the year

  • Grief 101
  • Children and Grief
  • Coping with the Holidays

 

Pinwheels for Pregnancy & Infant Loss

This is our 4th 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 14, 2022  6PM

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. 

Complete this form to register- https://forms.office.com/r/wVbPuFrMWk

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

Hospice of Washington County and Franklin Hospice invite you and your family to participate in our Community Service of Remembrance. We will be honoring patients who died from November 2021-May 2022. 
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.

Summer 2022 Remembrance Service

Date: Friday July 15th 
Time: 5:30 PM
Location: Life House Church (Auditorium/Barrett Hall)
515 E. Wilson Blvd. 
Hagerstown, MD 21740

If you have any questions, please contact HWC at 301-791-6360. 

Click HERE to view the 2021 Winter Remembrance Service

 

Lights for Love

To remember and honor your loved ones, we held our annual Lights for Love memorial drive on Sunday December 5th. 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

 

 

DoveTales

DoveTales Camp Logo

Date: Saturday September 24, 2022

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

 

Register your camper HERE!

 

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

Apply to be a volunteer HERE!

 

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.