Grief, although it can be very painful, is a healthy response to loss. Often the difference in your grief experience, is whether you face it alone or with the support of others who do not judge the rightness of your emotion or the time it takes you to adjust to your loss. The specially trained grief support volunteers provide emotional, spiritual and psychosocial support to individuals of all ages and families who are anticipating a death or experiencing grief due to loss of a loved one or friend. This support is available whether or not you have had previous contact with Hospice Muskoka.
Each person grieves differently. Bereavement support helps you to understand the complicated emotions you may be experiencing following a loss, and the impact it may have on your day to day life. By understanding what is happening, identifying and expressing your feelings in different ways that feel right to you, eventually you will be able reinvest your energy and focus into building a new life rather than being rooted in your loss. You will always keep the memory of your loved one close to you, but with the right support and tools, you will learn to feel hope, optimism and joy again.
OPTIONS FOR BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT:
Emotional and spiritual support with a volunteer who will visit with you in person or by telephone depending on what feels most comfortable to you. Volunteers listen and give support. They help you to explore healthy ways to cope with your loss. They are the patient and empathetic ear you may need to share your loss with. If your grief is more complex due to past losses, health issues or life circumstances, or your needs are beyond the scope of our level of support, Hospice Muskoka can provide you with a list of community professionals who can assist you.
Usually in the spring and fall Hospice Muskoka runs a peer support program for individuals who have experienced a loss. Through a series of activities, readings, and sharing with others who may have similar experiences, participants often feel safe and gain strength in their grief journey due to this format. The program runs for 8 weeks and participants often end up not only learning to cope with their loss but also making life-long friends as well.
Children and youth do not grieve the same as adults. Their limited life experience and stage of development influence how they perceives loss and determines the extent of their understanding and ability to cope. The health and wellbeing of our communities and indeed our world depends on how we care for the grieving children in our midst. Sadly, nearly half of Canadian youth live in families impacted by death, divorce, separation or abandonment.
A child’s unresolved grief from this painful family situation tears at the fabric of our society. Risk of depression and even suicide may escalate; academic achievement is often hindered; there can be a higher prevalence of youth violence, drug and alcohol use/abuse and teen pregnancies may increase.
Our program is designed to prevent such devastating consequences by coming to the aid of these children in a unique and effective way: by not counseling or therapy, but by peer support, creative expression through different modalities such as art and activities that promote self-worth and acceptance within a safe environment.
As a registered site for Rainbows Canada over the past three years, Hospice Muskoka has built upon a very successful program to add more activities to assist the child to learn coping strategies and gain confidence. The adult program helps parents to understand their children’s coping mechanisms and to learn ways to maintain positive communication and relations with them while exploring healthy ways to grow resiliency as a family. To achieve this, the program offers 4 levels of curriculum, each geared to a different age group for children aged 3 and up to adult.