Southwest General Hospital

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Bereavement Services

Bereavement

Compassionate care throughout the hospice experience

Hospice Services of Southwest General cares about how you are coping and provides bereavement support throughout the hospice experience and beyond.

Grief Often Begins With a Diagnosis

While your journey is most likely filled with hard work, loneliness and sadness, please know that there is someone at Southwest General's Hospice Services who would like to hear your story and offer support. This service is free of charge and includes:

  • Individual support
  • Specialized support group
  • "Out of the Valley" support group
  • "Coping with the Holidays" programs
  • "Healthy Grief," a six-week series support group
  • Semi-annual "Service of Remembering"
  • Quarterly newsletter

Children and Grief

Children grieve at very early stages in life. They may try to hide their grief from adults because they often are scared of these different and strong feelings they are having. If they cannot express their feelings, the emotions will come out in inappropriate manners. This is normal. To help children deal with loss, we have several books for families to use. We also have an art therapist who uses expressive forms of communication to  enable children and teens to express themselves and feel safe.

Reactions to Loss

Everyone reacts differently to a loss.  Some common reactions may include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed by all the changes and emotions
  • A physical emptiness
  • Fatigue
  • A need to tell and retell the story of your loved one
  • Feeling as though this death cannot be real
  • Crying at unexpected times
  • Feeling as though no one will ever understand your loss
  • Guilt

Caring for Yourself

Caring for yourself is vital, even if you do not feel up to it. Consider these suggestions as you enter this time of grief:

  • Life is no longer normal. Remember that not everyone around you will understand this.
  • Be patient with yourself and try not to overextend yourself. Your energy level and thinking process are probably not what they once were.
  • Accept your feelings. You will be experiencing feelings that may not be normal for you because you are grieving. What is normal for grief is different than what is normal for you.
  • Ask for and accept help. It is hard to do, but it is important to allow others to be useful.
  • Find someone with whom you can talk freely about your relationship with your loved one.

Caring for the Family

Your family is vital to your support and you are vital to them during this time of need.

  • Communication is vital to the family coping with grief. Each person is dealing with a very different loss and each person has different needs. Communicate and be flexible with each other.
  • As holidays or special days approach, discuss together the different needs that each person brings to the day. Be open to the fact that not everyone will be able to celebrate or remember in the same way.
  • Do not protect each other from grief. Talk about it.
  • Allow people to change their minds, even at the last minute.

Bereavement Support and Education

Support and education are available to you. These services are free of charge for families of hospice patients. Bereavement support services are available during the illness process and after your loss. If you wish to speak to the bereavement staff during the illness, contact your nurse or call the Bereavement Office at 440-816-5019. You will hear from our bereavement staff following your loss. If you want to talk before the staff contacts you, please feel free to call.

We know that making the first call can be difficult.

You already may feel too vulnerable to take another risk. It is important to receive support and know that you are important enough to be cared for. That is why we are here. We mail out a quarterly bereavement newsletter and twice a year, in the spring and fall, we host a "Service of Remembering." You will receive an invitation to the service. If you have questions about the service or any of our offerings, please call 440-816-5019.  Take advantage of the support groups we offer.

Calendar of Available Support Group Meetings
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If you or your community group is in need of a speaker, Linda Gregson, bereavement coordinator, is available to speak. Call 440-816-5019.

We Look Forward to Helping You

To learn more about Southwest Generals Hospice Bereavement Services, please call 440- 816-5019.

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