Understanding the grieving process

Workshop series

Sherryl Latimer / Contributing Writer
May 15, 2014 09:41 AM

Each one of us will inevitably experience some form of grief in our life.

We, as a society, are surrounded by grief and people mourning, and generally we do not recognize it. We no longer wear black or black armbands symbolizing the loss of a loved one. How do we know when someone is grieving? How can we help them?
Two workshop events, in coordination with Devlin Funeral Home, are being planned for the Coast.

Understanding Your Grief: Touchstones to Hope and Healing and a workshop called The Art of Companioning the Mourner will both be facilitated by internationally noted author, educator and grief counsellor Dr. Alan Wolfelt on May 22 and 23 in Sechelt.

Grief is not the most pleasant topic; however, chances are, in the next six months, many of us will suffer a loss of some kind or want to support a friend, neighbour or colleague who has suffered a loss. How prepared are we?

“Grief is a normal, complex psycho-physiological process which is initiated as a response to the experience of loss,” said local psychologist and counsellor Dr. Toni Stevens. “The loss triggers awareness of the meaning and significance of the impact in our lives. It could be any meaningful loss of person, animal, place, role in life, work, possessions or injury to body and self. The process is unique to each individual, yet there are some commonalities across individual experience and cultures.”

On the Sunshine Coast we are fortunate to have regular grief support groups facilitated by trained volunteers from the Sunshine Coast Hospice Society. Esme Stokhuyzen has been one of the grief support group facilitators with hospice for three years. She suggests that “a support group will give you tools to help you cope with your grief and to realize that grieving is a normal response to the death of a loved one. Although we grieve in many similar ways, there may be some cultural differences, and we respect those differences at Hospice.”

To learn more about understanding the grieving process, consider attending one or both of the upcoming events.

Partial proceeds of these workshops go towards grief and bereavement support services provided by the Sunshine Coast Hospice Society. Call 604-989-2387 or visit www.latimerandcompany.com for more details. 


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