Bereavement: About Grief and Mourning
Grief is the internal response that you experience following the death of a loved one. Grief may involve thoughts, feelings, reactions, and situations that occur on an emotional, physical, social, and spiritual level.
Natural grief responses may include:
- Deep and overwhelming sorrow
- Change in appetite
- Change in sleep patterns
- Decreased concentration
- Apathy or lack of interest in activities
- Feelings of isolation
- Questioning life and purpose
- Physical aches and pains
You may experience some of the above responses and not others, and you may experience some reactions repeatedly and to varying degrees of intensity. All are natural expressions of the wound that exists in your life.
The intense pain felt early in the grief journey will lessen over time as you begin to find your way in the world again.
Support for Grieving Friends and Families
Northwestern Medicine Home Health and Hospice at Kishwaukee Hospital offers a range of bereavement support services to families, friends, and the community, including:
- Grief Support Groups and Special Offerings
- Individual Grief Facilitation
- Grief Education Programs as requested
- Bi-Annual Memorial Teddy Bear Workshop
- Support Mailings including the Bereavement Care Newsletter
- Children’s bereavement care packages
Grief Support Groups and Special Offerings
Northwestern Medicine Home Health and Hospice at Kishwaukee Hospital currently offers the following grief support groups.
- Bridge of Hope
- Living After Loss
- Lunch Bunch
- First Friday Friends Club
- Hope at the Holidays
- Compassionate Friends' Worldwide Candle Lighting©
- Memorial Teddy Bear Workshop
Children's Care Packages
Care packages are available to children age 2–17 that have experienced the death of a loved one. These packages attempt to normalize what the child may be feeling and thinking, and try to remind the child to continue to be a kid. Depending on the age of the child, the following items can be found in most bereavement care packages:
- Grief educational items
- Small stuffed toy
- Sidewalk chalk
- Picture frames/albums
- Age appropriate books and handouts related to a child's journey through grief
The exterior of the box can be decorated by the child and then used as a memory box where he or she can store keepsakes and reminders of the loved who died.