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Bereavement and Grief

At Interim HealthCare and Hospice of Northern California , we understand that bereavement care is an essential component of hospice...

Bereavement care in Redding, CA...that includes anticipating grief reactions and providing ongoing support for the bereaved over a period of 13 months.  While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement refers to the state of loss, and grief is the reaction to loss.

Bereavement is the period of grief and mourning after a death. When you grieve, it's part of the normal process of reacting to a loss. You may experience grief as a mental, physical, social or emotional reaction. Mental reactions can include anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness and despair. Physical reactions can include sleeping problems, changes in appetite, physical problems or illness.

How long bereavement lasts can depend on how close you were to the person who died, if the person's death was expected and other factors. Friends, family and faith may be sources of support. Grief counseling or grief therapy is also helpful to some people.

Each of us takes their own journey through grief and healing. Allow yourself to open up to the idea that not every person experiences and deals with the loss of a loved one in the same way.

As there are many cultural and or religious practices to help those facing loss, understand that there is no “one way” or “one plan” that can work for everybody.
 

Interim HealthCare Hospice Bereavement programs focus on:

  • Helping family members understand and move forward in the grief process by facilitating their expression of thoughts and feelings and helping them identify or develop and utilize healthy coping strategies
  • Helping families problem-solve around adjustment issues
  • Providing guidance about decision making
  • Addressing social and spiritual concerns
  • Assisting survivors to adapt to an environment without the deceased while experiencing a continued (transformed) relationship with the deceased.
  • Attention to and respect for the ethnicity and cultural background of the families and care givers that are served by Interim HealthCare Hospices is essential in the development and provision of appropriate bereavement care.

Experiencing Grief:

Grief is a normal and expected reaction to loss. The grieving process is individualized; there is no right or wrong way to grieve.  Each person grieves in their own way. The first year of bereavement is the most difficult as the bereaved experiences the “year of firsts”, first birthday, first holiday, first anniversary, etc.  without their loved one.

Family members are often bewildered at the time of death and may need to be gently guided in decision making.  Activities at the time of death that can assist family members in the early grieving process are:

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One evening not long after Mel came home from rehab, he complained he was cold, so I got my soft moose blanket my friend had given me the Christmas before and covered him with it. Well, he adopted it and when not on his lap he had it folded next to him. He loved my blanket. Interim Hospice is who we chose when his time had come. When he did pass, they asked if we had a favorite shirt that the company owner could sew into a pillow or teddy bear because she does it with all of the patients. I asked if she could use his blanket instead. We just got it back today and we absolutely love it! The first picture is Mel being silly at his first Christmas with us and he’s wrapped in his favorite blanket. We are so thankful to Interim for the care and support they gave us and will cherish our bear!
Denise Schubert