Grieving is a very personal experience that takes time, patience and understanding. Our bereavement services support the journey through grief with a sense of hope, strength and connection to the world around you.

Our comprehensive program supports anyone grieving the loss of a loved one, whether or not they were cared for by Willamette Valley Hospice.

We offer support groups, short-term individual counseling, workshops, community events and Camp Mighty Oaks, an annual summer camp for children and families with fun-filled activities that promote hope and healing.

Visit grief support and services for complete details.

How does Willamette Valley Hospice help grieving families?

Continuing contact and support is available to caregivers following the death of a loved one through Willamette Valley Hospice bereavement services. Short-term grief counseling for children, families and adults also is possible. Six-week grief support groups for children, adults and families are offered throughout the year. Please see our calendar for dates and locations.

How does grief feel?

Each person’s experience of grief is unique and individual. Below is a list of some common emotional, physical, spiritual and social indicators:

  • Feeling empty or numb
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Sadness/withdrawal from others
  • Shock or disbelief
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling of guilt
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleep disturbances/unusual dreams
  • Anxiety

If these indicators are making it difficult to function in your daily life or the intensity of the symptom(s) has increased over time, please consider seeking help and support.

How long does grief last?

There simply is not a time table that can be applied to measure or predict a person’s grief. Grief lasts as long as it takes to begin accepting, understanding and learning to adjust to living with your loss. For some people, this can be months. For others, it may take longer.

The changes and transitions required by grief may generate feelings of isolation and increased anxiety. When the work of grief is approached with the intention of allowing grief to teach and inform us, these painful transitions and changes also may create a pathway to an ever-widening expansion of the heart as we heal.

How will I know when I’m done grieving?

As the reality of the loss settles in, you will begin adjusting to living without the physical presence of the person who died. As you respond to new challenges, new roles and new difficulties, you will begin to move through the experience of grief and form a new identity. Eventually, you will discover renewed energy in living as your grief begins to change.

The following indicators in your life might help you identify that you are moving toward adjusting to living with your grief:

  • Full realization of the reality of the death
  • Understanding of being changed by grief rather than getting over grief
  • Successes with adjustments to role changes as a result of the loss of the relationship
  • A change in how intensely you are preoccupied with thoughts of the loved one
  • A sense of future goals or direction
  • A return of the ability to recognize and receive joy from experiences
  • Return of routine eating and sleeping patterns
  • Establishment of new and healthy relationships

Please contact us if you have any questions about grief, the grieving process or our grief support services. You also can ask to purchase “Journey of Change,” a helpful guide on how children and adolescents cope with loss. Learn how you can provide the support they need.