Facing the mourning

Support group to help families cope with loss of loved ones

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Dealing with the loss of a loved one is a lonely and difficult time, a local bereavement counselor said. And a support group can be a valuable tool to help people cope with their feelings of loss, she said.

"It seems that a lot of times, when going through a crisis, we sometimes feel like we're the only ones going through this," said Sandy Beran, volunteer bereavement and spiritual care coordinator for the Hospice program at the Visiting Nurse Association in Craig.

"It helps for people to come together. They find out that what they're feeling is part of the process of grief and that they're not alone," she said.

Hospice will provide the Grief Education and Support Network during July to give mourners a network of similar people to share their thoughts and difficulties with. The support group will meet for the first time at 1 p.m. July 6 at the VNA, 745 Russell St. The meetings are open to the public.

The meetings will use an internationally renowned grief program, "Facing the Mourning." This will be the second time the VNA's Hospice program has offered the grief-support group.

"We'll talk about coping with the loss of a loved one," Beran said. "This program is designed to help the healing process by using visual and thought provoking tools."

The program also will consist of assigning mourners with a specific task each week -- such as discovering different ways to make a memorial to loved ones who have passed away or recording thoughts and feelings in a journal. Such tasks have proven to be successful in helping people cope with tragedy.

Hospice is a program that provides in-home comfort and care to sick people. The group also maintains contact with families that have experienced a loss.

For more information about the support group, call Beran at 824-8233.

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