Grief and Bereavement Counseling
It’s usual for both patients and their loved ones to experience grief following the diagnosis of a terminal diagnosis. Hospice grief and bereavement counselors and chaplains are available to assist the patient’s family through the process of grief—including “anticipatory grief,” which may occur as the patient begins their end-of-life journey. Grief isn’t only a natural reaction to the acceptance of life’s end or the loss of a loved one, it’s an essential process for healing. There’s a difference between curing and healing. Many people suffering from an incurable disease find healing of their heart and spirit in the process of grieving, and they come to celebrate the life they were gifted.
The grieving process following the death of a loved one is different for each person, but it often seems to those left behind that their grief is overwhelming and will never end. Common physical symptoms of grief include sleep disorders, loss of appetite, fatigue, or tightness in the chest or throat. Emotional symptoms include guilt, depression, irritability, forgetfulness, and a sense that life is unreal, or even anger at the person who’s passed or at God. Hospice counselors are trained to listen and to help. Hospice grief counseling and bereavement support is available to families for 13 months following the death of a loved one.