Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley’s Community Bereavement Services is offering a new 6-week grief support group starting in September.
Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley’s Bereavement Services presents Coping with Grief During a Pandemic: A Virtual Support Group.
This 6-week support group is intended for anyone who is dealing with the death of a loved one during the COVID-19 health crisis. This group offers participants a safe, non-judgmental space to share and explore the dynamics of their grief during this time of uncertainty.
The group will discuss the loss of grieving rituals, such as wakes and funerals, and discuss healthy ways to cope with their grief.
The group meets virtually via Zoom Meetings on Tuesday evenings (6/23-7/28) from 5:00 – 6:00PM. Participants must have a valid email address and access to a computer, tablet or smartphone to connect.
For more information and to register, contact our Bereavement Coordinator at (315) 265-3105.
My father died in 1969 at age 59. I was in my mid-twenties, married and had just started a career in teaching. I was able to spend a month with him a few months before he died. He had pancreatic cancer and was approaching end of life.
At that time, end of life issues were not generally openly discussed. In one of our conversations, my father asked me if there was anything he could give to me; I replied, “peace of mind.” His response was, “I can’t give that to you. You have to do that for yourself.”
He planted the seed that while I couldn’t always control what was happening around me, I could, in fact, determine and control my responses to what happens to me and I have carried his words with me throughout my life.
Slowly, I acquired mindfulness/meditation skills to work with my mind to create a sense of being calm and grounded. Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Being mindful is what it sounds like. Taking time to focus on the present, being intentional and thoughtful about where you are and how you are feeling. Trying to center your thoughts and be in the moment.
These skills have carried me through many difficult times over the years. I am now using them to work with the fear and anxiety that stems from the COVID-19 health crisis and the many uncertainties that come from it. We don’t know what will happen, how long it will last or what things will be like when it’s over. One thing we do know, however, is that worrying about it won’t change the outcome. Learning how to tolerate the uncertainty is a huge part of building healthy coping skills
I am sharing some of these skills in the hopes that they help others navigate their way through this new and unknown territory.
Find Resources on Mindfulness Here:Mindfulness resource list
We have all faced many challenges, and perhaps discovered a few joys, while sheltering in place over the last six weeks. The COVID-19 virus has forced us to create new routines, accept limitations, learn how to be socially connected while physically distant, and seek ways to cope with the anxiety and fear that arise.
The pandemic has and will continue to change nearly every assumption we’ve had about daily living. It has forced us into uncharted territory and we must find a way to navigate this evolving landscape.
Connect with us for a special Lunch & Learn presentation where we will address the Now Normal. We will explore how to not only survive, but thrive in the present moment, even with an uncertain future, by sharing and brainstorming tools for navigating the Now Normal.
This Lunch and Learn will take place via
Zoom at 2 p.m., Tuesday, May 19.
COVID-19 has impacted virtually every aspect of normal life, including death and how we process it. Social distancing has affected every end of life ritual from spending time with a loved one as their days grow short, to visitation and calling hours, funeral services, and burials. Like many services, funeral directors are required to abide by new guidelines set forth by state health departments and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
With families limited to small private services, normal rituals are changing. In many ways, in addition to “normal grief”, people are left grieving the funeral rituals they thought they would have. There is a sense of loss around not having the expected rituals. For anyone who has lost a loved one, you know that what is meaningful about a funeral is rarely people saying the “right” thing. It is more often about just people being there – seeing the impact our loved ones had in the world.
So what do we do when we can’t physically gather? What’s Your Grief has a few tips and ideas on how to still have a meaningful memorial during this time:
For more ideas and tips on grieving, visit whatsyourgrief.com.
[source: whatsyourgrief.com (Read the full article here.)]