Hospice of Davidson County Grief Programs

Grief Programs

The grief process is very personal and our programs help family members move toward an appropriate grief response and adjust to a loss. Hospice of Davidson County offers grief support to all family members for 13 months following the death of a patient.

Finding comfort and support can include the following services:

  • Individualized grief counseling – in your home or at Hospice of Davidson County
  • Mailings to aid in the healing process
  • An annual remembrance service
  • Grief connection groups and group support services
  • Counseling specific for children who are grieving

Grief is a normal response of emotions, thoughts and behaviors that follow the loss of someone or something important to you. There is no wrong way to grieve, unless it causes pain to yourself or others, such as excessive consumption of alcohol.

Grief is a natural part of life, it is very personal, and the process should take however long it takes for you to get through it. Don’t let people tell you how you’re supposed to feel. Sometimes you may not feel anything at all, but once the shock wears off, you may find yourself experiencing any number of emotions. Again, there is no wrong way to grieve. To learn more, call us at 336-475-5444.

Grief Reactions

Individuals respond to grief in different and personal ways. Here are some common reactions to grief:

  • Feeling empty and numb, as if in a state of shock
  • Physical symptoms such as nausea, trouble breathing, crying, confusion, lack of energy, dry mouth, and changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Anger at the situation, a person or in general
  • Guilt about what you believe you did and/or did not do
  • Withdrawal from family and friends, and sometimes from common activities
  • Difficulty focusing, working and making decision
  • Questioning faith and beliefs to find purpose in life
  • Feeling a sense of presence from the deceased person, often indicated by “seeing” or “hearing” your loved one
  • Relief, because your role as caregiver has ended, and/or because your loved one is no longer suffering.
  • Grief can last as long as it takes to adjust to the changes in your life after the loss. Grief can last for several months or years. There is no timetable for grief, and emotions and behaviors may come and go.
Experiencing Grief

When you are experiencing grief, it is important to pay attention to the emotions and thoughts that surface as a result of the grief. Ways you can help yourself:

  • Talk about your loss. Take the time to talk with family, friends or a grief counselor about your feelings, or find a support group to share your memories and find connections with others who are experiencing a similar loss.
  • Forgive yourself for what you “should” have said or done. Also, forgive yourself for the feelings of anger, guilt and embarrassment you may feel while grieving.
  • Eat well and exercise. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of rest while grieving, because grief can be exhausting. Exercise will keep your energy up and refresh your body.
  • Indulge yourself. Enjoy things you used to enjoy, like reading, listening to music and other activities. Do something fun and something that you find comforting.
  • Prepare for holidays and anniversaries. Special events can be especially hard. Know that your feelings of grief may resurface during these events. Acknowledge this as part of the grieving process. Plan activities to mark these occasions and honor loved ones. It may also be helpful to create new rituals or traditions.
  • Pay attention. Other family members may also be in different stages of grief. It is important to acknowledge what those closest to you are experiencing.
Words that Help

Offering support to someone who is grieving a loss can be as simple as an open-ended question. Here are some conversation starters:

  • I’m sorry for your loss.
  • Tell me about him/her.
  • What do you miss the most?
  • What is the hardest part for you?
  • I care about you.
  • I cannot know how you feel, but I do remember a time when my loved one died.
  • Would you like to talk about it?
  • I’m available if you’d like to talk.
  • I’m thinking of you today.
Words that Hurt

Sometimes people do not know what to say when someone is grieving. Here are some phrases that may be hurtful:

  • I know just how you feel.
  • Move on.
  • You’ll get over it.
  • Don’t think about it.
  • Don’t cry about it.
  • Be strong.
  • You should feel…

Grief Programs

  • Healing Journeys – Second Friday of every month
    Healing Journeys is a monthly program for individuals to share their grief experiences. The program is held the first Friday of every month from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Hospice of Davidson County Administrative Building.
  • Lunch Bunch – First Tuesday of every month
    Join us for a lunch gathering and grief support. We will gather in the private dining room at Cagney’s Restaurant (1244 Fairview Dr, Lexington). Please call us to reserve your spot.
  • Understanding Grief After Loss
    This educational support group meets over a four-week period and unites individuals experiencing a similar loss.
  • Remembrance Service – Tuesday, May 23 – 4:00-5:00 p.m.
    Hospice of Davidson County staff invites you to attend a time of fellowship as we remember your loved one with the special reading of names & balloon release. Refreshments will be provided. Please call to register.
  • Handling the Holidays – November
    This program, generally offered in November, prepares individuals who have experienced a loss with strategies and tips for grief during the holiday season.

Please call 336-475-5444 to register for all programs.

Spiritual Programs

Blessing of the Hands for Caregivers and Providers
Hospice of Davidson County spiritual counselors offer a program for caregivers and other nurses, aides, volunteers and local healthcare providers, to honor their grief in caring for the sick and terminally ill. This program invites healthcare providers to share their grief experiences together while remembering the important work they do in supporting patients at end of life. This program is best suited for long-term care facilities, healthcare agencies, physician’s offices, and other non-profit agencies whose work impacts patients daily.

For more information about current events and programs, please visit News and Events.

Bridges of Hope Bereavement Camp

Hospice of Davidson County offers a one-day family bereavement camp that provides a safe and caring environment for children (ages 6-18) and the adults in their lives to remember and honor loved ones. Bridges of Hope will be held Saturday, June 10 from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., on the Hospice of Davidson County campus. Join us for this family day full of memory crafts, music, horses, recreation, and grief education. We will end the day with a balloon release ceremony in honor of loved ones who have died. To register online, click here.

What is Hospice Care?

Hospice is a specialized type of health care that is delivered by our own physicians, nurses, Hospice aides and social workers. Many patients and families also choose to include additional team members such as a spiritual counselor, grief counselor, and a volunteer.