Grief is the normal and natural reaction to significant loss, but nothing really prepares us for the intensity of the grief we may feel. The range of emotions and physical symptoms associated with grief are many and varied. Grief is individual and unique, and so are the feelings, behaviours and thoughts each person will experience related to their loss. In grieving, the sense of isolation and fear can be profound. Not only has a loved one died, but often a life-style, hopes and plans for the future also seem lost. Living on after the death of a loved one can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Often grievers can be reluctant to share their thoughts and feelings for fear of burdening family and friends.
The Heart of Hastings Hospice provides compassionate bereavement support groups to anyone experiencing the loss of a loved one. The form of support received is geared to individual need. Bereavement support is provided one-on-one, or in a grief support group, if appropriate. Our groups create a safe environment in which we examine different ideas about dealing with loss and how to take new actions to ease the pain associated with these losses. It may be difficult to imagine how sitting with others, whose loved ones have died, can help in dealing with one’s own grief, but the experiences of those who have participated in our groups, indicate that it is deeply meaningful.
Comments from previous group members:
“I realized I was not alone–we were all in the same boat.”
“Even though I had never met any of these people, I felt we understood one another immediately.”
“Speaking openly and honestly helped me to see more clearly what was happening to me.”
It is surprising to many that this simple way of being together is generally NOT experienced as depressing, but as a lightening of personal pain. Group members are helped by others listening sensitively to their stories, their grief; in turn, they are able to help fellow members in the same way. Even if a person’s loved one died two years previously, for example, he or she can often benefit from a support group.
Bereavement Support Goals
We aim to provide an opportunity for you to examine how this loss and other previous losses has affected your life. We will discuss common myths around dealing with death, as well as provide accompaniment and resources to help you deal with your own pain and move forward in your life. Recovery and rediscovery after loss is often achieved by allowing yourself the opportunity to acknowledge and complete the unique feelings of pain caused by your loss. Grief support will help you work towards regaining your sense of meaning and purpose in life. Our coordinators will also be able to provide you with various reference materials to help guide you on this journey.
There is no fee for our bereavement support services. Please call (613) 473-1880 to arrange for bereavement support from The Heart of Hastings Hospice or to register for an upcoming Grief Support Group.