Grief and LossGrief is a normal response to loss, but everyone responds to loss differently. Many people who are grieving wonder if their feelings are normal. The truth is—there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
Some common responses to grief often include:
- Numbness, shock, disbelief
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Sadness and depression
- Peacefulness/relief that suffering is over
- Intense yearning for your loved one
- Inability to eat or sleep/or excessive eating and sleeping
Grief is physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. It is hard work and is exhausting. When you are grieving we encourage you to reach out to available resources through your pastor/church, civic groups, neighborhood, friends, extended family and/or the professional community. Sentara RMH Hospice can provide you with a list of area counselors, some of whom operate on sliding scale fees for those without insurance. There are also many excellent resources located in the Additional Resources section.
What bereavement care does Sentara RMH Hospice provide?
Sentara RMH Hospice staff and trained volunteers offer grief support to current patients and their family members pre and post death. Each bereaved hospice family member is followed for 13 months after the death of their loved one, which they will receive monthly mailings such as cards, newsletters, bereavement follow-up calls and have access to our lending library. One-on-one support sessions and annual support groups and events are offered through Sentara RMH Hospice throughout the calendar year.
How to support others who are grieving:
Listen and offer unconditional support. You may not have the answers or know what to say, but remember that everyone grieves in a unique way and sometimes listening is the best gift. Grief takes time, it has it's own agenda like the waves of the ocean; it may at times be gentle and serene but other times it can sweep your off your feet when you least expect it. Offer patience, kindness and practical help to the bereaved but above all, follow through with your promises. For any questions, concerns or additional resources please contact Andrée Jeannotte, Sentara RMH Hospice Bereavement Coordinator at 540-433-4430.