Bereavement is a process that often begins when a loved one enters hospice care. During this challenging stage of life, knowing where to turn for support and help can be hard. Yet receiving quality bereavement care is important; it can help you identify how you are responding to the loss, provide the support that will help you deal with your grief, and help you find peace with the loss of a loved one. Because everyone experiences grief differently, there are many ways to access bereavement support services. You can use as few or as many resources as needed during the healing process.
Sources of Help During the Bereavement Process
Hospice Books on Grief
Books can be especially beneficial as resources during a time of bereavement. Not only can you read and absorb the information at a pace convenient to you, but they can offer a wealth of knowledge about your emotions, mental health, and future expectations. These books are often full of advice, stories, and support from those who have gone through hospice care and the bereavement process. They provide comfort and wisdom, and topics in line with your religious and spiritual views are often easy to find. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite hospice books on grief for your reference.
Free Support Groups
Support groups allow attendees to receive support and connection through discussions with fellow grievers. In a support group, you’ll receive interpersonal emotional support, education about grief, and validation about feelings. They are an effective way to promote healing through support and education and can positively impact attendees. In a support group setting, those who grieve will be provided a place to connect with others. There are many resources for finding free support groups, and your hospice provider can guide you to find the best for you.
Religious or Non-Religious Support Groups Near Me
Those looking for support groups often find comfort in something familiar–a religious or non-religious setting where they can discuss complex emotions relating to grief. Those who attend are provided with the reassurance and support they need. Contact your local clergy, hospital, or even hospice service to find a grief support group. In addition, some grief support groups can also be found and are held online, through apps such as Zoom, for convenience. When you need help finding a bereavement support group, don’t hesitate to contact the caring team at Active for assistance.
Other Resources About Support During the Hospice Phase
Start your journey wherever is most comfortable for you; for some, that may be articles and online resources. Below, we’ve compiled a few links from Active that you may find particularly helpful:
- Everything to Know About Hospice
- How long do hospice patients live?
- What to Expect at the End of Life
- Eight Signs That It Might be Time for Hospice
- Fact or Fiction: Learning the Truth About Hospice
- Three Goals of Hospice Care
- What services, treatments, and equipment are covered in hospice?
- Hospice Books on Grief
- What You Need to Know About Alzheimer’s
- Cancer End-of-Life Concerns
FAQs About Bereavement Services
What are bereavement services?
Bereavement services are the services offered to a family before and after the loss of a loved one. There are a wide variety of bereavement services, including spiritual, emotional, and psychosocial support. The goal of bereavement support is to assist the family through the adjustment, loss, and grief of losing their family member. During bereavement care, family members learn coping skills while identifying the difficulties, stressors, strengths, and coping skills that will help them adapt to this significant change in their life.
What support is available to someone who is grieving?
Depending on the area in which you live, a variety of support services may be available to those who grieve. Typical support services include community organizations, grief counselors, online support groups, spiritual leaders, national hotlines, and more. If you’re unsure where to turn for help, consider contacting the hospice program, hospital, or physician for local resources.
What are the stages of bereavement?
Though we all experience grief during different stages of our life, bereavement refers to the mourning we go through after losing a loved one. Bereavement is the normal process of reacting to your loss, and it can be full of many different emotions. Experts agree that there are five stages that one goes through during the bereavement process:
During this first stage of loss, we are often in shock and denial. It can feel as though the world has turned upside down. Though this can be a painful part of the grieving process, it helps us get through the first few days after the loss.
Frustration and anger are common in the grief process and are natural after experiencing a loss. In this stage, you may feel like things are unfair. Anger is very good at masking other emotions and pain you may be experiencing. Once the anger subsides, you can connect with different feelings you may have pushed aside.
During this stage, you may want to regain control or think that if you did things differently, there would be a different outcome. You may find yourself thinking “if only” statements. It’s common to struggle to regain a sense of control.
The intense feeling of loss defines this stage of grief and is a normal reaction to such a significant change in life. This quiet stage may cause feelings of despair and hopelessness. This is often a challenging stage of the bereavement process.
The acceptance stage doesn’t mean that you’ve moved on past the stage of grief and loss. But it does mean that you’ve come to accept it and how it has now affected your life. You’ll find yourself having more good days but still taking the time to recognize the loss in your life.
How can you help someone who is grieving?
Losing a loved one is a significant change in a person’s life. The loss leaves a hole that will be there forever. When you know someone who has lost a loved one, your support can make all the difference in their bereavement process. Here are a few suggestions for how to help:
Reassure your friend that things will get better. Encourage them to grieve for as long as they need to, but assure them that they will find their way through the grief.
Give them a call to express your sympathy. Check in frequently, even if it is just to say hello.
Be a good listener as your friend expresses their feelings about the loss. Reassure them that talking about their frustration, grief, and sadness is okay. Simply by listening, you’re providing great comfort.
Help with everyday tasks
Grieving people often struggle to complete daily tasks. Offer assistance with simple yet important tasks, such as grocery shopping, laundry, preparing meals, and more.
Realize that your friend’s life has changed significantly and they might not be sure how to process the change. Allow your friend or loved one to heal in the manner which feels right to them and without judgment.