The death of a loved one impacts your life in many ways. Kaiser Permanente is here to support you through our bereavement program which is part of the Hospice care team.
After Your Loss
You may experience some of these feelings and physical symptoms of grief:
- Confusion and forgetfulness
- Sensitivity to noises and movement
- Guilt and self-doubt
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Trouble sleeping
- Longing to see your loved ones
- Imagining you see your loved one or hear their voice
- Low energy, changes in appetite, weight gain or loss, headaches and nausea
Feelings of despair or deep sadness are known as grief. Losing a person in one’s life can bring up those feelings. One can even have anticipatory grief, which occurs before death and can happen for both the person with the illness and people close to them.
We each mourn in our own way and in our own time. While it’s a completely normal process, it can be difficult and consuming.
Many people find their experience of grief is different than what was anticipated. It can be harder and deeper than expected and affect one on many levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
As part of your Hospice care team, we offer a group of trained health care professionals that will provide Bereavement support. The bereavement team typically includes a bereavement coordinator, social workers, and clinical chaplains.
Bereavement teams offer support from the time Hospice care beings, connecting you with support groups and local resources, mailings with information on coping with loss, and checking in with you or others who were close to the patient. In some cases, bereavement teams may be able to offer short-term one-on-one counseling, provide regular follow-up phone calls or connect you to our trained volunteers.
Losing someone you love is a natural, yet painful, part of life. Grief is part of the healing process as you cope with your loss.
Taking care of yourself is important when grieving. Self-care includes giving yourself permission to have feelings, even painful ones, reaching out for and accepting support and avoiding pressure to “get over it.”
Self-care also includes taking care of your body by getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet and being physically active, if able.
To help you through the grief process, Kaiser Permanente sends support materials through the mail. Created by our bereavement coordinators, these materials include information on the different stages of mourning and support resources that many of Kaiser Permanente families have found helpful for managing grief. Content helps address the wide range of emotions you may experience, like sadness, guilt, relief or anxiety. Information on self-care is also included. If you prefer not to receive this material, you can opt out at any time.
To support you more personally through the grief process, Kaiser Permanente has also arranged scheduled support groups to witness, express, and discuss feelings of grief, how to cope, healing in healthy ways, and provide daily practical tasks to help you achieve emotional and physical wellness.
Clicking a link below will take you to an informational document based on your geographic preference. Some sites are present in multiple documents for illustrative purposes only.
Connect with others who have lost a loved one in an online, virtual support group and find information on grief, loss and healing.
Supporting Family after a Child Dies
Hospice Foundation of America
How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies by Therese A. Rando, PhD
Living with Loss: One Day at a Time by Rachel Blythe Kodanaz
Living When a Loved One Has Died by Earl A. Grollman
Seven Choices: Finding Daylight after Loss Shatters Your World by Elizabeth Harper Neeld