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Bereavment

Our entire team at Hillcrest Hospice believes that emotional and spiritual pain are just as real and in need of attention as physical pain; therefore, our chaplains are always available for spiritual support for both you and your family during hospice care and up to a year after a loved has passed.

Phases of Grief
The process of bereavement may be described as having four phases:

   1. Shock and numbness: Family members find it difficult to believe the death; they feel stunned and numb.

   2. Yearning and searching: Survivors experience separation anxiety and cannot accept the reality of the loss. They try to find and bring back the lost person and feel ongoing frustration and disappointment when this is not possible.

   3. Disorganization and despair: Family members feel depressed and find it difficult to plan for the future. They are easily distracted and have difficulty concentrating and focusing.

   4. Reorganization.

Treatment
Most of the support that people receive after a loss comes from friends and family. Doctors and nurses may also be a source of support. For people who experience difficulty in coping with their loss, grief counseling or grief therapy may be necessary.

Grief counseling helps mourners with normal grief reactions work through the tasks of grieving. Grief counseling can be provided by professionally trained people, or in self-help groups where bereaved people help other bereaved people. All of these services may be available in individual or group settings.

The goals of grief counseling include:

   * Helping the bereaved to accept the loss by helping him or her to talk about the loss.

   * Helping the bereaved to identify and express feelings related to the loss (for example, anger, guilt, anxiety, helplessness, and sadness).

   * Helping the bereaved to live without the person who died and to make decisions alone.

   * Helping the bereaved to separate emotionally from the person who died and to begin new relationships.

   * Providing support and time to focus on grieving at important times such as birthdays and anniversaries.

   * Describing normal grieving and the differences in grieving among individuals.

   * Providing continuous support.

   * Helping the bereaved to understand his or her methods of coping.

   * Identifying coping problems the bereaved may have and making recommendations for professional grief therapy.

Grief therapy is used with people who have more serious grief reactions. The goal of grief therapy is to identify and solve problems the mourner may have in separating from the person who died. When separation difficulties occur, they may appear as physical or behavior problems, delayed or extreme mourning, conflicted or extended grief, or unexpected mourning (although this is seldom present with cancer deaths).

Hillcrest Hospice Chaplains and Social Workers can get you in touch with grief support groups and make referrals for Grief Therapy. We will be with you every step of the way.

Are you caring for someone who may benefit from our services?

Click here to make a referral

Click here to see our Circle of Care

Click here to see Medicare Hospice Benefits Infomation Booklet

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