The emotional toll of caring for and living with someone with an advanced illness is an ongoing process and the effect on families and caregivers does not end when a loved one dies.  The hospice bereavement team provides support for family, caregivers and friends involved in caring for the individual. This support starts during care and continues after through our bereavement program

Our Bereavement Program supports hospice families and friends after the death of a loved one. Support is also available to community members who have experienced the loss of a loved one – even if they did not use hospice services. Support is provided by phone and mail contact, phone or in person counseling, printed resources and networking. Workshops and support groups are provided by each office according to need.

Griever’s Bill of Rights

  • You have the right to experience your own unique grief
  • You have the right to talk about your grief
  • You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions
  • You have the right to be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits
  • You have the right to experience “griefbursts”
  • You have the right to make use of ritual
  • You have the right to embrace your spirituality
  • You have the right to search for meaning
  • You have the right to treasure your memories
  • You have the right to move forward your grief and heal

We are here to help

High Peaks Hospice Bereavement staff and volunteers offer a variety of grief services to those we serve and to the community at large.   Our 13-month bereavement program provides several ways to give support throughout your grief journey. Since we all grieve in different ways a variety of topics are offered.

For more information about these groups, contact: Kirby Kay Clark at kclark@highpeakshospice.org or 518.891-0606 for more information.

Grief support:

    • Home Visits/Individual Counseling
      In some cases, our Bereavement Coordinator can offer up to six individual counseling sessions and/or home visits
    • Telephone Contact
      Telephone contact is offered as needed or requested. The Bereavement Coordinator and Bereavement Volunteers will place a 3-, 6-, 9, and 12-month check-in call to see how you are doing and provide support on your grief journey.
    • Newsletters
      High Peak Hospice offers four different “Grief Information Series” newsletters that will be sent out to you in the 1st month, 4th month, 8th month and 12th month to provide you with understanding for your grief journey.
    • Trained Bereavement Volunteers
      Our bereavement volunteers are available to offer support in a variety of ways, including visits
    • The Good Grief Support Group
      We have discovered that the best way to find relief from loneliness and to develop meaningful support systems is to join a support group. Participation is based on your own comfort level in sharing your story. Confidentiality and anonymity are valued in these groups. Your first step – going to your first meeting – is the hardest step so please contact our Bereavement Coordinator for support.The goal of this group is to provide a safe place where individuals can share their first moments of grief and experience the symptoms, feelings and emotions of their grief. This group has between 8 and 10 members that are in the 1-13th month in their journey of grief. These meetings will be on the 1st and 3rd  Wednesdays of the month via Zoom from 6-7 p.m. The facilitator is Kirby Kay Clark.
    • Coffee Conversation Social Group
      Anyone can come to this group to gather as a virtual social hour. This group meets via Zoom on the 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of the month from 6-7 p.m.

Hospice accepts referrals for bereavement regardless of whether or not their loved ones received hospice services.

Those who contact us regarding grief support will receive the mailings and have an opportunity to talk with the Bereavement Coordinator or a volunteer. Our program offers quarterly mailings for thirteen months and phone contacts 1- 4 times a year.

Hospice Bereavement Coordinators and Social Workers also respond to community emergencies.  They are available to counsel those in grief when a community has experienced a significant loss that affects many people – most often when there have been tragic deaths within the community.

This is just one more significant way that hospice can make a difference.

High Peaks Hospice has also held three Bereavement Conferences in the past 8 years.  These conferences were open to the public and were presented by nationally recognized grief specialists.  The purpose was to provide the coping skills to both the professional and lay people in our north country communities.

Click here to learn how how children grieve and how parents and other adults can support them.

Grief Support

RX for Recovery

  1. Eat Balanced meals. Check with your physician regarding vitamins.
  2. Limit intake of alcohol, caffeine, drugs and sugar. (if sensitive)
  3. Exercise 5 days a week. A brisk 30 minute walk will do.
  4. If suffering from insomnia, don’t eat protein after 5pm. It blocks tryptophan. Eat carbohydrates at night. Also alcohol, caffeine and sugar causes insomnia in some people.
  5. Take 10 minutes a day to do something nice for yourself.
  6. Some find daily meditation or prayer at a fixed time (on rising or at bedtime helpful.)
  7. Each night make a list of tasks for the next day. In the morning, review them, eliminating or adding. Prioritize them.
  8. Allow yourself permission to grieve—to cry and to be angry.
  9. Choose your companions carefully; those who will support your grief process and help with necessary tasks.
  10. Avoid making hasty major decisions (changes of residence, employment, disposition of personal effects) too soon.
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