Bereavement support is an important part of Alegent Creighton Health hospice care and following the patient's death, we offer support services to families for 13 months. Our Remembrance program features comprehensive bereavement support centered on individual counseling, a variety of support groups, educational resources and limitless understanding.

The Grief Journey

As life is often likened to a journey, the same can be said about the grieving process; except rarely would anyone say "I've enjoyed the ride!" What we do hear is that people have grown, have learned and that it is a very sacred journey. Grieving is a very unique process that depends on each individual and the relationship with the person who has died. Grief often feels abnormal. One may feel "out of control." When we grieve it affects us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. There are some common reactions to grief; you may find that you are experiencing some of these feelings:

Crying
Fatigue 
Relief 
Irritability
Dreams
Loneliness
Guilt
Questioning
Trouble sleeping
Feeling less focused
Hearing the person's voice
Lack of motivation
Inability to concentrate
Changes in appetite
Feeling the person's presence 

While you are grieving be gentle with yourself and take special care to try to get sleep, exercise and eat healthy. Though your first instinct may be to avoid feelings brought on by the death or thinking about the deceased, we believe that giving yourself a safe supportive place to allow yourself to work through the many feelings you are experiencing will bring you to healing.

There may be times when you are feeling so overwhelmed by your emotions that it would be helpful to contact professional assistance such as a bereavement counselor, therapist, physician or clergy. 

Know that there is no time limit on how long one grieves. It takes as long as it takes. Give yourself the gift of time and patience to take the grief journey.

Tips

  • Make a list of people you can feel open to tell your story and discuss your feelings.
  • Tell your story as many times as you need to.
  • Give yourself permission to take a break from grief and engage in an enjoyable or relaxing activity.
  • If sleep problems or other physical symptoms persist, see your physician.
  • If you are having thoughts of suicide call 911 or the suicide hotline 1-800-784-2433
  • Find ways to express your grief though activities: journaling, writing a letter, art, music, dance, and woodworking. 

At times during the grief process, it can be helpful to have support.  Alegent Health Hospice bereavement can provide grief support and education. If you are interested in grief support, please call us at 402-898-8000 and request a bereavement counselor.  

Helpful Links

Ted E Bear Hollow.org
The Compassionate Friends
Hospice Foundation
Alegent Creighton Health Hospice
Suicide.org
Growth House.org 
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization 

Community Bereavement Resources (PDF)