The entire family may face grief and a sense of loss after the death of a loved one. Children can be especially hurt by a number of losses in their lives – divorce, moving, death in the family, death of a pet.
Hospice of Havasu is fully staffed with skilled bereavement counselors, social workers, staff that helps caregivers, and other resources.
To contact a member of the Bereavement Staff with comments or a questions, Click Here.
What is Grief?
Grief is a normal and natural, though often painful, response to loss. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief is likely to be.
Each individual experiences and expresses grief differently. For example, one person may withdraw and feel helpless, while another might be angry and want to take some action. No matter what the reaction, the grieving person needs the support of others.
The Five Stages of Grief
The process of grieving in response to a significant loss requires time, patience, courage, and support. The grieving person will likely experience many changes throughout the process. Those changes may include:
DENIAL is often the initial reaction to loss. Shock is the person’s emotional protection from being too suddenly overwhelmed by the loss. The grieving person may feel stunned, numb or in disbelief concerning the loss.
ANGER is a frequent response to feeling powerless, frustrated, or even abandoned and may be directed to self, at God, at life in general for the injustice of the loss, at others involved, or at the deceased for dying.
BARGAINING may take the form of a temporary truce. We may become lost in a maze of “if onlys” or “what if” statements. Guilt is often bargaining’s companion. Guilt is a common reaction to things the griever did or failed to do before the loss. For example, a griever may reproach him/herself for hurtful things said or loving things left unsaid.
SADNESS/DEPRESSION is often triggered by reminders of the loss and its permanence. It is the appropriate response to a great loss.
ACCEPTANCE is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this is the new reality and it is the permanent reality. We must learn to reorganize, reassign and reinvent ourselves.
Guidelines for Helping
Make contact. Make a phone call, send a card, attend the funeral, bake and deliver cookies.
Provide practical help. Decide on a task you can help with and make the offer.
Be available and accepting. Accept the words and feelings expressed and avoid telling them how they should feel or what they should do.
Be a good listener. Many in grief need to talk about their loss; the person, related events, and their reactions. Allow grievers to tell their stories and express their feelings.
Exercise patience. Give bereaved people “permission” to grieve for as long or short a time as needed.
Encourage self-care. Encourage bereaved people to attend to physical needs, postpone major decisions, allow themselves to grieve and to recover.
Model good self-care. It’s important for you to maintain a realistic and positive perspective, to maintain your own life and responsibilities.
Bereavement Services Include:
- Individual and family bereavement counseling
- Bereavement support groups
- Referrals to community resources
- Education on grief and loss
- Support to local schools and organizations following a sudden loss
- Annual Celebration of Life
- Elementary school programs
Adult Bereavement Support Groups
Hospice of Havasu offers several support groups for those who have lost a loved one:
Support Groups, at no cost, are offered for those dealing with grief and loss, on a regular schedule in our offices in Lake Havasu City, Parker and the Bullhead City/Ft. Mohave area. These are casual, drop-in groups.
In Lake Havasu City, two groups meet : Each Wednesday, from 10 to 11 a.m., in the Hospice of Havasu lobby, 365 S. Lake Havasu Ave. and each Thursday, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in the Hospice of Havasu lobby, 365 S. Lake Havasu Ave.
In Ft. Mohave/Bullhead City, two groups meet: Each Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Hospice of Havasu office, 5858 Highway 95, Ft. Mohave and each Wednesday from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Mohave County Library, 1170 Hancock Road, Bullhead City.
Life after Loss is an 8-week structured and educationally focused support group, now offered in all our locations. Call for dates and times; registration required.
For a current schedule of support groups in Mohave and LaPaz County, Click Here.
There is no fee for bereavement services. The funds for our programs come from generous community donations, individual memorial contributions and fund-raising events.
Caregiver Support Group
Caregivers face a number of issues, from fatigue to distress, and Hospice of Havasu staff can help those caring for others.
There is a Caregiver Support Group in Lake Havasu City each Tuesday, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., in the Hospice of Havasu lobby, 365 S. Lake Havasu Avenue.
Caregivers can attend as many of the sessions as they want, at no cost, thanks to our generous donors.
Solid, practical advice will be shared, and you can talk with others facing the same issues as you are.