News and Events

Grief: What to Expect – January 22 and 23

In the early days after the loss of a loved one, life can feel overwhelming and disorienting. This hour-long program is designed to help newly grieving persons gain a better understanding of common grief reactions, strategies for coping and resources to increase your confidence and knowledge during these challenging times.

Choose the date and time that works best for you:
Evening: Monday, January 22, 6 – 7 p.m.
Daytime: Tuesday, January 23, noon – 1 p.m.

To reserve a place or for more information, please call
336.621.5565 or email thecenter@hospicegso.org.

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Loss of Spouse Support Group – January, February, March and April

Finding Our Way After the Loss of a Spouse or Constant Companion

For many, the death of a spouse or partner is the most difficult loss they have ever faced. If this is true for you, you may benefit from connecting with other bereaved spouses who are on a similar journey. A grief support group offers a safe setting to meet and talk about your experience, share ideas and give each other courage.

Choose the group that works best for you:

  • Daytime group (2 – 3:30 p.m.): Thursdays, February 1, 8, 15, 22, March 8, 22 and April 5
  • Evening group (6 – 7:30 p.m.): Mondays, January 29, February 5, 12, 19, March 5, 19 and April 2

To RSVP, please contact the Counseling and Education Center at 336.621.5565, thecenter@hospicegso.org or click the button below. Registration must be received by January 22.

There is no fee for this event, but donations are encouraged to keep programming accessible.

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Your Holiday Grief Toolkit: Piecing Together a Holiday without your Loved One

There is perhaps no milestone so daunting for the newly bereaved as the holiday season: a time typically spent celebrating family and enjoying the company of loved ones.

Getting through your first holiday season without a loved one is difficult, but certainly not impossible. Just as you have weathered the grief process so far, rest assured that you will also weather the holidays. Ryan Colgan, a grief counselor at Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro (HPCG), says that the biggest misconception people have about holiday grief is that it has to be difficult. “Anticipation is usually so much harder than the actual day. Most people end up coming back to me and saying ‘I don’t know why I worried so much.’”

You can make preparations for the time ahead by building your own “holiday grief toolkit”, which is comprised of four main steps. The worksheet attached below will guide you through all four, but they are summarized as follows:

  1. Identify your authentic wishes. The first (and most important) step is being honest with yourself about how you want or need this holiday to look. Grief is an intensely personal process, so whether you feel you need to be alone watching movies all day or out celebrating as you usually would, you have every right to do so. Start by asking yourself the question, “In a perfect world, what would I do on that day?” If you’re unsure of what you want, try to think through (or write out) several different scenarios to see which feels best to you.
  2. Drop your expectations. Don’t force yourself to do anything you’re not up for. Remember: it’s only one year! It’s okay to do something different. Give yourself grace, and don’t feel like you need to be rigid.
  3. Make a plan. Even if you anticipate spending the day alone, planning out the day ahead of time can help you know what to expect. When you make a plan, even if it’s something as simple as going and renting a Redbox to watch, you are giving yourself something concrete on which to focus. Picturing the day ahead of time will make it less intimidating.
  4. Find an outlet. Many find that talking to someone, be it a counselor or a close friend, helps them process and understand their feelings. Your outlet can be talking or anything else that helps you work through your emotions (yoga, journaling, running, cooking). If you don’t know what helps, try a few different things and see what feels best.

The toolkit worksheet can be downloaded below, in addition to other materials and resources that you may find useful.

If you would like to speak to one of our bereavement counselors, please feel free to call our Counseling and Education Center anytime at 336.621.5565.

Click Here to Download your “Holiday Grief Toolkit” Worksheet

 

Additional Resources:

Helping Yourself Heal During the Holiday Season

Coping with Holiday Grief as a Family

Griever’s Bill of Rights

Help for the Kids

You DO Have a Choice

Hope at the Holidays – December 7

luminaries

Children (and their families) who have experienced the death of a loved one are invited to this evening of hope and remembrance.

Thursday, December 7, 2017
6 – 7:30 p.m.

The Lusk Center | 2501 Summit Ave
Greensboro, NC 27405

The evening will include:

1. Families will work together to create a luminary in memory of their loved one.
2. Families will have an opportunity for reflection and remembrance.
3. Light refreshments will be served.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Space is limited. If you have additional questions or to register, please contact Kids Path at 336.544.5437 or kmcgregor@hospicegso.org.

Talking to Children about Serious Illness

Five Myths, Debunked

When there is a serious illness in the family, children need to trust the adults in their family more than ever. Changes can be confusing, from the disruptions to daily routines to the changes in their loved one’s physical appearance. That’s why it’s so important to communicate openly and honestly with children throughout this process.

Still, myths about whether children are “ready” or need to be “protected” abound. Here, we discuss why these common beliefs may be causing more harm than good.

Myth 1: Children are too young to understand.

Reality: Even very young children can sense when there is a change or problem. They are very observant and will often have an awareness of what has happened even before they are told of an illness, accident or impending death.

Myth 2: Children need to be protected at all costs.

Reality: Many adults try to “protect” because they fear the child will be traumatized by the knowledge that something serious has happened. In reality, children can often sense when information is being withheld, which only causes increased anxiety as they feel less in control of their world. They may also imagine the situation is far more serious than the truth.

Myth 3: Children don’t need to be involved.

Reality: Being involved and included helps the child feel like an important, valued part of the family. They need age-appropriate ways to participate and to help. Explore the child’s immediate needs. By sharing information and encouraging conversation, you can better understand the child’s ability to cope with visiting a sick person or being around family members who are very sad.

Myth 4: If a child seems fine, don’t try to talk about the illness.

Don’t assume that you know how a child is feeling. Children express feelings differently than adults. Rather than talking about their feelings, their emotional struggle may be seen in changes to their sleeping or eating patterns. They may regress, doing things a younger child might do.  Or there may be changes in play behavior and performance at school.

After a crisis situation, children usually have three major fears they may or may not verbalize: Did I cause this? Will it happen to me? Will it happen to someone else that I love?

Myth 5: Adults should not show sad feelings in front of children.

Adults need to model healthy, visible expressions of loss and pain. Children can feel isolated if they can’t observe an adult’s sadness. Sharing those feelings lets a child realize that, in time, the adult’s pain is lessened and healing does occur.


Do you know a Kindergarten-5th grader who is coping with the serious illness of a loved one? They are invited to join Kids Path for Feelings Field Day, a workshop to explore healthy ways of coping with change. Click here to learn more.

Learn more about Kids Path’s counseling services here.

Feelings Field Day – November 10

Calling all kindergarten – 5th graders: Join us at Kids Path to explore healthy ways to cope with changes in our lives and to express our feelings about those changes. This workshop is intended for children coping with the serious illness of a loved one.

Friday, November 10
9 – 11 a.m.

Kids Path | 2504 Summit Ave | Greensboro, NC 27405

$10 materials fee

Space is limited. To register, please call 336.544.5437 or email kmcgregor@hospicegso.org.

When Grief and the Holidays Collide – November 13 and 14

Speakers: Ryan Colgan and Mary Easton

This is a program to help adults plan for and cope with the holidays.

Choose the date that works best for you:

Evening: Monday, November 13, 6 – 7 p.m.
Daytime: Tuesday, November 14, 1 – 2 p.m.

Location: The Lusk Center 2501 Summit Avenue Greensboro, NC 27405

There is no fee for this event. Light refreshments will be served.

We also invite you to stay with us for an extra few minutes to create a Hope Pot to take home. We will plant pansies and bulbs in small pots. Early next spring, our pots will come to life with new growth and flowers. Our Hope Pots can serve as a reminder that better days lie ahead. Materials will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own pot or make a $5 donation.

To RSVP, please contact Tammy Chaput at 336.621.5565, thecenter@hospicegso.org or click the button below.

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Grief: What to Expect and What Can Help – October 16 and 17

In the early days after the loss of a loved one, life can feel overwhelming and disorienting. This hour-long program is designed to help newly grieving persons gain a better understanding of common grief reactions, strategies for coping and resources to increase your confidence and knowledge during these challenging times.

Choose the date and time that works best for you:
Evening: Monday, October 16, 6 – 7 p.m.
Daytime: Tuesday, October 17, noon – 1 p.m.

Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro
2500 Summit Avenue | Greensboro, NC 27405

To reserve a place or for more information, please call
336.621.5565, email thecenter@hospicegso.org or click the button below.

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