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Bereavement support brings healing after loss of a loved one

Grieving the loss of a family member or close friend is a normal part of the human experience. Whether a death came on suddenly or after a long illness, the end of life of a loved one can be one of life’s most stressful events.

But it is not something you must go through alone.

Bereavement support services are available to help you heal– in your own way and on your own timeframe.  Bereavement professionals recognize that each loss is a very personal experience. They can help people navigate their own feelings and emotions and process the traumatic experience.

“When we love someone and they die, our hearts break and we suffer,” says Taissa Kutsar, MSW, bereavement coordinator with Ohio VNA.  “Loss is life’s most painful experience, and our grief can become complicated if left untreated.”

Most bereavement services offer support to families for up to 13 months after a hospice patient’s death. Families can typically receive face-to-face supportive visits, phone or Zoom sessions or follow up phone calls. During these sessions, families may also:

  • Assess family strengths and challenges
  • Get help addressing concerns associated with grief and loss
  • Learn about other support groups in the area
  • Get referred to additional services, like counseling or therapy

According to Kutsar, people commonly say they feel stuck in a dark tunnel and wonder if they will feel like this forever. She says that in healthy grieving, these feelings of loss eventually soften and people will start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. There is no timeline for how long it will last, and suppressing one’s feelings, or avoiding them all together, can often prolong suffering.

The good news is that people who participate in bereavement support typically report feeling better and “lighter” after expressing their feelings during their sessions.

“People have told us they feel like they got more help than they thought they needed and that the sessions helped them put things into perspective in ways they had not considered before,” added Kutsar.
For more information about bereavement services, please contact Ohio VNA.