Grief Resources for Families
Our Bereavement and Spiritual Care Team Members and Counselors are here to help our community and we commit to walking with you as you cope, talk with and educate your children and family members, and navigate through all the thoughts and feelings related to these types of events. Below are just some of the available resources to assist, and if you need someone to talk to, please call 717-504-3465.
Franklin Hospice and Hospice of Washington County invite you and your family to participate in our Community Service of Remembrance.
We will be honoring patients who died from June 2023-November 2023.
During our service, we will read the name(s) of your loved one(s), light candles, share readings and poems, and have moments of reflection.
Winter 2023 Remembrance Service
Date: December 8th, 2023
If you have any questions, please contact HWC at 301-791-6360.
Children's Grief Awareness Day
1 in 5 children will experience the death of someone close to them by the age of 18. For Children’s Grief Awareness Day on Thursday, November 16th, Hospice of Washington County invites you to explore the numerous events and activities taking place all day virtually at https://www.childrensgriefawarenessday.org/.
Grief During the Holidays
Although many people consider the holidays, “the most wonderful time of the year,” it can actually be one of the toughest times of the year for those who are struggling with grief and loss. People often begin to experience immense sorrow, feelings of anger, depression, loneliness and sadness right around Thanksgiving and continuing into the new year. While others may be enjoying the sights and sounds of the holidays; the music, lights, holiday parties and festive decorations that are meant to bring us joy, all of those things may also serve as painful reminders of our loss. Our loved one is not with us physically, so it can be difficult to feel connected to those around us, and to the purpose of the holiday season.
If you’re wondering how to get through the holidays this year without your loved one, here are some things to think about that might be helpful:
- Remember that grief is a part of the healing process. Some people may be resistant to actually sitting with the feelings they’re feeling, and experiencing the full range of emotions that accompany grief and loss. But, giving yourself permission to feel the loss, is part of the healing. Oftentimes people will try to escape, avoid or medicate feelings by over-indulging in food, drinking too much alcohol, or by just being too busy, instead of giving themselves the freedom to acknowledge and sit with their experience. Attempting to pretend the holidays don’t exist or numbing the pain of loss simply prolongs the anguish. Allowing yourself to experience your feelings is a healthy step toward healing from loss.
- Be patient with yourself. Realize that it’s not going to be easy, and do only those things that are special, meaningful or important to you. It’s okay to set healthy boundaries and not feel like you have to agree to every request; be willing to say no if that’s what you need. Eliminate the unnecessary, and set appropriate limits on what you do and what you spend. Do not over commit yourself.
- Make a plan. Realize that this is going to be a new holiday - very different than holidays of the past. Think about changing some traditions or starting new ones.
- Build in times to relax over the holidays; take time to just breathe, remember and reflect.
- Take the initiative and make your own plans if you do not want to be alone over the holidays. Invite a neighbor to join you, throw your own party, or sit quietly with someone you feel safe and vulnerable with during those difficult days. Do something you truly enjoy-don’t do things just out of obligation or to please someone else.
- Some of the worst holiday stress arrives post-season. Plan something pleasant in January and February to help diminish the letdown.
- If stress, anxiety, depression, or loneliness become overwhelming, it may be helpful to consult a mental health professional. It’s okay to ask for help.
- Think ahead about a response you might give to someone who says, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year.”
- Be patient with those who are unaware of the death. Think of a way to let them know in advance.
- Find a way to honor your memories. Consider creating a special way to remember and memorialize the person you’ve lost. Whether you decide to place a special ornament on your tree, light a candle every night, or fix your loved one’s favorite food, honoring your loved one is a tangible reminder that although the person we love is gone, the love never dies.
On-going Grief Groups
Hearts of Hope
Hearts of Hope is an ongoing open grief support group beginning May 4th, 2023, for any adult who is grieving the death of a loved one. This group meets routinely on the first Thursday of the month from 2 PM until 3 PM. Join us in person at Franklin Hospice - 209 Grant St. Chambersburg, PA. 17201.
For more information, please call our office at (717) 504-3465 or email email@example.com.
DoveTales designed for children (ages 6-13) who are coping with the death of a loved one.
DoveTales is an educational, nurturing, and safe place for children to share their stories and to meet others who “get it.” Campers will have the opportunity to learn effective and practical skills for coping with their grief. There is no cost to attend this annual event.
The full day camp event will begin at 8:30 AM and conclude at 7 PM. Group activities include sharing stories, creating lots of crafts, playing games, and enjoying outdoor and nature activities. All meals are included. Parents/guardians are invited to attend a special family dinner to connect other families, learn about camp activities, and honor their loved ones.
Looking for a fun and unique VOLUNTEER opportunity? Consider applying to be a DoveTales Volunteer. Training and education will be provided to all volunteers.
DoveTales is offered at NO cost to families. Special thank you for grant funding from the Community Foundation of Washington County MD, Inc, as well as private donors.
Registration is open to children and families who reside in Washington County, Maryland as well as Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Trees of Remembrance 2023
Franklin Hospice and Hospice of Washington County Bereavement Team is pleased to offer & display the annual Remembrance Tree at Doey's House, the HWC Corporate Office, and at Franklin Hospice Corporate Office. The Remembrance Tree will be displayed during the entire month of December. We invite you to submit your loved one's name(s) to be written on a dedicated ornament for the Remembrance Tree.
Registration is open HERE.
Winter Service of Remembrance 2023
Franklin Hospice and Hospice of Washington County invites you and your family to join us for a Service of Remembrance honoring the memory of Hospice Family members who died from May 1 - October 31st, 2023. During our service, we will read the name(s) of your loved one(s), light candles, share readings and poems, and have moments of reflection.
The Service of Remembrance will be held on Friday December 8, 2023 at 5:30 pm at Lifehouse Church (Auditorium) located at 515 E. Wilson Blvd., Hagerstown, MD 21740
Registration is open HERE.