Bereavement Program

Grieving is as natural as crying when you’re hurt, sleeping when you’re tired, eating when you’re hungry, or sneezing when your nose itches. It is nature’s way of healing a broken heart.
~from Don’t Take My Grief Away by Doug Manning

Adjusting to life without a loved one can be difficult.  No one can tell you how long or in what manner you “should” grieve, yet there are many commonalities among bereaved people.  Those who suffer loss may experience guilt, restlessness, anger or other strong feelings.  Crying at unexpected times, forgetfulness, confusion or loss of appetite are also normal expressions of grief.  Understanding how others have dealt with these feelings can be of great assistance and help people understand grief as a normal process.

Bereavement support at Brattleboro Area Hospice is provided through individual and family counseling with the Bereavement Care Coordinator as well as support groups for loved ones of Hospice patients and community members.  Anyone in the community who is bereaved, whether or not they have used hospice care services, is eligible and all services are free of charge.  You can also subscribe to our Seasons Bereavement Newsletter by contacting our office.

Individual Bereavement Support

Looking for one-to-one support?  Our bereavement volunteers and staff offer a wide variety of services that provide emotional support, companionship and help with daily tasks during this period of adjustment.  Support can include visiting in homes or by phone, reading, gardening, helping with hobbies or correspondence, providing transportation and other services.

Bereavement Support Groups

Held at our office and free of charge, support groups provide a safe, mutually supportive environment for sharing experiences related to grieving someone’s death. Spouse/Partner Loss and Bereaved Parents’ Support Groups meet year-round.  Other support groups for children, teens and adults are offered several times a year and may use discussion, artwork or writing to deal with the loss of a loved one due to illness, accident, suicide or other causes.  Click here for current support group information.

Support for Children

Since children express grief in different ways depending on their developmental level and capacity to understand the situation, Brattleboro Area Hospice offers a range of bereavement services for children of different ages. Activities can include family meetings for children and parents, special groups for teens only, and support groups for kids that are held in their schools or at the hospice office.

Our ongoing Good Grief support groups offer a six-week program for children that uses activities like drawing, sculpture, collage, photography, writing, movement and music to help children explore feelings and share memories. We also hold special workshops for young people that vary based on the need in the community and our lending library includes books to help children understand death and dying.

Please contact our Bereavement Coordinator at 802-257-0775, x.104 for more information.

“Elizabeth has facilitated groups of children at our school for those who have lost a loved one in their family. Her gentle acceptance of death in our lives gives it a sense of ‘normalcy’ to the children and allows an opportunity for them to recognize their feelings of grief as natural. The group gives them a safe setting to feel and express those feelings and to see that their peers share their experience. We are most grateful to Brattleboro Hospice for providing this support to the children at our school.” ~Windham County School Counselor