Sadness, anger, guilt and love. Carroll Hospice’s bereavement counselors and volunteers witness a range of emotions after the loss of a loved one.
For our team of three bereavement counselors and many volunteers, helping people work through the grief of the death of someone close is their specialty.
“We’re great listeners,” says bereavement counselor Jessica Roschen. “We’re helping them through this journey and trying to have them focus on the positives and what’s helped them before through difficult times.”
The support is offered in a variety of ways, from individual counseling to a host of groups that connect those facing the challenges of the same type of loss, from groups for parents who have lost children, to widows and widowers, to those who have lost a loved one from suicide or substance abuse.
In the support group setting, attendees are encouraged—but not pressured—to share a little bit about their loved ones and their experiences. Some groups incorporate special touches to their meetings. At the Mending Hearts support group for parents who have lost a child of any age, for example, participants started a picture board where they can display a photo of their child. And, at the end of each meeting, participants stand in a circle and say goodnight to their child who has died.
“People are realizing it’s important to share your feelings, and it’s healthy to talk things through,” Roschen says. “When you’re going through the struggle, just having somebody to be there with you to listen, to talk and to just guide you through is very important.”
For Roschen, helping individuals work through the grief is rewarding. “As counselors, we get to hear about all of the love stories and about the wonderful times, too. As they move forward, all of the good memories and all of that love really comes back, and they can make peace.”
To learn more about the bereavement services offered by Carroll Hospice, or to view a calendar of upcoming support groups, visit CarrollHospice.org or call 410-871-8000.