At Bon Secours Hospice, we understand that the death of a loved one is a painful, lonely experience. That’s why we offer bereavement care. In this way, we help people recover from the loss of those closest to them and provide support when it’s needed most.
One of our most important – and effective – efforts involves sponsoring grief support groups. These participants have lost a loved one and want help as they go through the grieving process. Meetings are free and occur across the Richmond area. Groups are small, informal and caring. Trained bereavement professionals or volunteers lead each meeting. Group participants may share thoughts and concerns, knowing that others will respect their feelings and understand their needs. While sharing is encouraged, no one is pressured to speak. Often, group members find that simply being in a warm, compassionate environment and hearing others’ similar struggles and gains helps them feel better.
Bon Secours bereavement groups work on the idea that facing one’s grief helps bring peace, strength and a renewed sense of purpose. Studies and our experience show that denying the pain of loss merely prolongs it. We also know that grieving is a highly personal experience. That’s why our counselors encourage everyone to move at their own pace through the grief process.
Bereavement groups meet weekly. Sessions are held during the day and in the evening to accommodate participants work and personal schedules. Groups use the book and journal “Understanding Your Grief” by Alan Wolfelt to stimulate discussions.
Recognizing that grief varies greatly from person to person, we have created several bereavement groups to meet the needs of specific communities.
These include the:
Men’s Bereavement Group
This provides a gender-specific environment where men can express their grief comfortably.
These occur monthly and help spouses face unique issues they encounter in the grief process.
These meet monthly and focus on the special issues associated with the loss of a beloved adult brother or sister.
20 Somethings Web-Based Group
This group will allow participants to “meet” electronically via a web-based chat room with regular input from our grief counselor.
In addition, we offer monthly workshops. These provide a safe setting where professionals can assist participants wanting to express their grief on a deeper level with less frequency. Group dialogs are encouraged, and we use “Understanding Your Grief” for psycho-educational learning and to guide discussions. In addition, we are introducing other healing practices, like art and “healing touch” therapy.
Our full-time grief counselor provides one-on-one counseling for all ages. Our counselor will meet with individuals to assess their grief and offer therapy as a tool to cope and help the bereaved to find peace. This service is completely confidential and free to the community.
Bon Secours also holds a memorial service twice a year in the Spring and Fall at the St. Mary’s Hospital Chapel. These celebrate and honor the death of loved ones and provide hope for ones’ daily journey.
Our bereavement services allow us to continue Bon Secours’ longstanding tradition of “good help” to those in need. We encourage anyone who has lost a loved in the past year to consider contacting us and joining a bereavement support group. Doing so allows people a healthy means of handling grief while honoring the memory and love of the people they have lost.
To learn more about Bon Secours bereavement services or to schedule a pre-registration appointment for our support groups, contact us.
Bon Secours Bereavement Center
7229 Forest Avenue, Suite 108
Richmond, VA 23226
phone: (804) 433-4710
fax: (804) 433-4711
Email us at HospiceBereavement@bshsi.org