Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hospice: A Healing Experience

Even though many folks would prefer not to talk about death and dying, those who work in Hospice know that this is not an option. The counseling department and hospice team knows the value of offering this last healing experience to family members after their loved one has died. Bereavement support is just one of many services Hospice of Southern Illinois offers to help families cope with this portion of the end-of-life journey.
Bereavement is defined as the condition of having been deprived of something or someone valued, especially through death. Also, bereavement can be a state of intense grief after the loss of a loved one.
At Hospice of Southern Illinois, the counseling department works very hard to help families heal and cope with their loss. Calls are made to the family within 7 days of the loved one passing. Then, one of the bereavement counselors will follow up again within 30 days to see how the family continues to fare. Each person’s healing and coping process varies. So, if a visit or an appointment to see the family is needed to discuss the loss of their loved one, this is a time when families can do that to get the extra support they may need. One-on-one support is not always the best option for everyone. Hospice of Southern Illinois hosts several grief groups and a lunch gathering for widows and widowers which are available on a monthly basis. Further, for a more personal experience, the counseling department follows-up with calls on the loved one’s birthday and one-year anniversary of the death of the loved one. For the first year of the loss of a loved one, these can be especially difficult times.
No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help. If you or a family member is experiencing grief, please call 1-800-233-1708 to speak with one of the members from our experienced and dedicated counseling team.

Offered by Cathy Knowlton, MA, MAPS, LPC
Chaplain/Bereavement Counselor

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