Grief provides an opportunity to address the pain of loss. Although it can feel unbearable, engaging in grief support is worth the struggle as it helps release emotion that we unknowingly carry with us – emotion that impacts our health and quality of life. Hospice offers a progression of grief programming that promotes connection with others. When individuals and families come to Hospice, they realize they are not alone. The programs encourage a process of accepting the loss and moving forward with new strategies to cope as the reality of life and death changes our lives.
Informal Support Groups
Those who have recently experienced the death of someone they are connected to are invited to attend Lunch for the Recently Bereaved or Grief Chat for the Recently Bereaved. These groups offer a flexible format where people receive a phone call the day before group and are welcome to attend or miss that week’s group.
A light meal is served at the Lunch group and coffee and a snack at the Chat. The Lunch group is followed by the Walking with Hope program which combines gentle physical exercise in the form of a walk with emotional support. Lunch participants can join the walk if they want or people can come after lunch and join. The choice to offer a flexible format and include food and exercise in these groups is important because self-care behaviours like eating and exercise are things that people sometimes overlook in grief.
Adult Grief Recovery Groups
Adult Grief Recovery Groups are for those who have experienced the death of a loved one at least three to six months before the start of a group. The groups are a multi-week series led by knowledgeable facilitators at Hospice.
Hospice offers three levels of grief recovery programs. Grief recovery level one is a 10-week group experience offered three times a year. This group offers a safe place to share and express feelings and experiences and to move forward through grief. Level two is a 12-week program that continues the learning and examines some of the more complex aspects of grief and recovery. Finding identity, new relationships, and identifying healthy and unhealthy belief systems are some of the areas explored. Level three is an informal once a month group that offers ongoing support and encouragement. All groups are led by knowledgeable facilitators.
Children and Teen Support
Children’s Grief Group
The children’s grief group is an eight-week program offered three times per year. This group supports children aged six to 12 who have experienced the death of someone close to them to understand and manage their feelings and behaviours around grief. Children connect with other children who are grieving and share feelings and experiences. A parent group meets at the same time to discuss issues related to children’s grief experiences. The children’s group and the parents group are led by knowledgeable facilitators.
Children’s Monthly Grief Check-In
Children who have completed the eight-week Children’s Grief Group are welcome to attend this after school program. Knowledgeable facilitators use a wide range of expressive arts activities to support children to be honest with their feelings because of grief.
Teen Grief Support
Hospice supports teens to explore the impact of grief caused by death. In order to meet the immediate needs of teens Hospice may arrange one-to-one support or small group support as appropriate. Hospice staff may also help teens link with other community supports.
Specialized Support Groups
The Bereaved Parent Support Group is a monthly group for all parents regardless of the age or circumstance of the child’s death. The Suicide Survivors Group is a structured support program for individuals as they navigate the changes in their life following a suicide.
The Gentle Exercise program runs on Fridays at 1:30pm for those wishing to participate in easy, gentle exercises that everyone can do. Other wellness programs are offered periodically depending on interest and need. Please refer to this website page for up-to-date information or contact us with your ideas.
Hospice Peterborough has a lending library with books, videos and music; staff can also suggest reputable web resources to answer your questions, including our own informational booklets on various topics. From time to time we also host public education events. You are always welcome to call, drop-in or email us with questions about hospice palliative care and grief.
Learn More, Registration and Referral
To learn more about our programs and services, to register or make a self-referral, please contact us. If you are grieving, Hospice staff are here to help connect you with the support you need. Remember, you are not alone.