At Heart ‘n Home, we have made some exciting changes with our bereavement care. Our Spiritual & Grief Counselors will now help patients and families address both their spiritual and bereavement needs. These needs often go hand in hand. Our counselors help patients and families work together to establish a bereavement plan well before losing their loved one. It starts with an assessment at the beginning of care and develops into a plan that our team can help the family and patient carry out. Grief is often only addressed after death, but this type of extraordinary bereavement care helps address necessary items early. With the help of our Spiritual & Grief Counselors, the patient and family make a bereavement plan. This plan has three main parts Goodbyes, Moving Forward, and Continued Bonds:
No one likes goodbyes. When someone is approaching the end of life the goodbye is even harder. With this plan, the patient and their family can discuss what would be a good goodbye. Are there things that need to be said, such as “Thank you,” “Please forgive me,” or “I love you?” Together we can help you discover what will be your best goodbye.
It’s not an easy thought to think about moving forward without your loved one. At Heart ‘n Home, we use the term moving forward because we understand that there is no moving on. Moving on is asking us to get over or beyond our loss, moving forward is asking us to integrate the loss into our lives and continue to live. As we move forward the loss becomes a part of us, we learn from the loss and it helps us to discover what the future will be. Having the opportunity to discuss this together with your loved ones will make things a little easier. Together, the patient and loved ones can discuss how they envision moving forward after their loved one passes. The patient can express how they would like to be remembered. It can be something like, “Each time you hear this song, think of me.” Or “When you see a butterﬂy, know I am with you.” Knowing that this is the patient’s wishes will be a great comfort to their loved ones left behind.
With guidance from our Spiritual & Grief Counselors, the patient and family can discuss what words or objects can be given by the patient for added support after the death. Many people believe that after the body dies the spirit lives on. It can be a great comfort to know that you can have continued bonds. Some find comfort knowing their loved one could watch over them even after they are gone. How will I know that you are with me? Some may ask. “When you sit in our swing in our yard, I’ll be there with you.”
On top of the bonds that you and your loved one can continue to have, you will need a support system of people around you as you grieve. With this plan, you will make a list of those people in your life. Who is going to be a good listener? Who can help when you need an extra hand? Who are the people who have similar hobbies and interests that will be there to give you a temporary break from your grief?
There will be immense benefits by having the patient and family work through a bereavement plan together. The grieving family will be better able to manage their grief after their loved one is gone. Knowing that the patient shared their wishes and desires will be a great comfort to not only the family but the patient as well. Heart ‘n Home Hospice provides care for the whole family. The patient is our focus, yet the family is supported throughout the whole journey. That support continues even after the loved one is gone.
When you love someone so dearly, grief runs deep. If you or a loved one may need hospice support, now is the time to learn more. When a person starts hospice early they are able to take full advantage of programs like developing a bereavement plan. Contact us today to learn more about how hospice can help you and your whole family.