Caring Hearts Bereavement is a bereavement ministry offering friendship and understanding to families who have experienced the death of a loved one. Navigating life after a time of loss can be overwhelming. By serving others while sharing their loss you can become the catalyst for enriching lives at the most difficult of times.
 

The grief from the anticipated and resulting death of a special person can be almost overwhelming. Bereavement/Caring Ministry offers a variety of care to help you understand more about anticipated loss, grief and bereavement including bereavement support groups for adults, teens and children, as well as individual counseling and resource materials.

The Adult Bereavement Support Group, offered as five sessions over a five-week period, are conducted by volunteer professionals.

To meet the grieving needs of children and teens, the Childhood/Teen Grief Support Group meets twice a year for six weekly sessions.  Caring Hearts Camp, a weekend retreat for bereaved children, is held each summer.  There is also a support group offered for Young Adults.

Hope for the Holidays is a session held as the festive season begins, aimed to help bereaved people through their difficult first Christmas without their family member.

Feel free to contact the Bereavement Coordinator if you feel you could benefit from one on one support, or if any of the following symptoms are experienced intensely over an extended period of time following your loss:

  1. the loss is excessive and disabling
  2. minor events trigger an intense grief reaction
  3. you are unwilling to move the material possessions belonging to the deceased
  4. there is an absence of a social support network
  5. the loss is socially unspeakable
  6. feelings of sadness, disbelief, confusion, anger, guilt, anxiety, fatigue, shock, yearning and numbness exist
  7. behaviours of sleep disturbances, appetite disturbances, absent minded behaviour, and social withdrawal exist.

Bereavement is the period after loss during which grief is experienced and mourning occurs. The time spent in a period of bereavement depends on how attached the person was to the person who died and how much time was spent anticipating the loss.

Mourning is the process by which people adapt to a loss. Mourning is also influenced by cultural customs and rituals as well as society’s rules for coping with loss.

Grief is the normal process of reacting to loss. Each type of loss means the person has had something taken away. Grief may be experienced as a mental, physical, social, or emotional reaction.

  • Mental reaction: Anger, guilt, anxiety, sadness, or despair.

  • Physical reaction: Sleeping problems, changes in appetite, physical problems, or illness.

  • Social reactions: Feelings about taking care of others in the family, seeing family and friends, or returning to work.

Grieving over the loss of a loved one is very painful and at times can seem overwhelming. Many of us wonder whether we are grieving in the “right” way and worry whether the feelings being experienced are “normal”.

Here are some common feelings you may encounter now and for the coming months:
Feeling emotionally numb, loss of appetite or desire to eat more; difficulty sleeping; waking early; often dreaming of your loved one; feeling exhausted and lacking energy; feeling low at birthdays, holidays and special occasions; spending money on things not usually purchased; feeling mood changes over the slightest things; being angry or irritated at the wrong person, wrong circumstances, or at the world; feeling angry at your loved one for leaving you; sensing your loved one’s presence; and feeling as though life doesn’t have any meaning.