FEBRUARY 15, 2018 Event:
GRIEF: YOURS AND OTHERS; THE ECONOMIC AND EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF UNEXPECTED DEATH
During our February presentation, three area experts joined more than 75 AAWGT members and guests to talk about the issue of surviving sudden bereavement. Their insights helped us learn more about the variety of ways people respond to grief; ways that each of us can show comfort and reassurance to those who have experienced a loss; and about emerging national research that may spur communities to recraft their policies to better protect and uphold those faced with the upheaval that sudden loss creates.
Tawny Wilson Stitely of Annapolis described how peer support from members of Bereaved Parents of Anne Arundel County helped her learn positive ways to remember and honor her 27-year-old daughter Tori, who was lost through a car accident. Tawny advised that we must allow everyone to grieve in his or her own way and that the bereaved fare better when they plan how to spend those critical days – the birthdays, anniversary of death, and other days of significance.
Susan Coale, Director of the Chesapeake Life Center at Hospice of the Chesapeake, talked about her experiences as a social worker and noted that even someone with extensive training can sometimes say the ‘wrong’ thing. Noting the lack of research in the US, Susan cited Swedish studies which have reported declines in economic wellbeing as high as 30% following sudden loss, which points to the need for more robust community services, especially for the economically disadvantaged.
Joyal Mulheron, Founder and Director of Evermore, a D.C. nonprofit that helps bereaved families, shared her firsthand experience of how severely parents may suffer health, social and economic challenges after the loss of a child. In recovering from the loss of her infant daughter, Joyal also learned that the siblings of the deceased child are often overlooked, and that these ‘forgotten sufferers’ need to be included in any plan for family support and comfort. Under Joyal’s leadership, Evermore is seeking to initiate regional and national studies on family issues related to death of a child, and is seeking to partner with the National Academy of Sciences.
The audience responded with examples of their own experiences, and it was the unanimous opinion of our panelists and audience that whatever you say or do, be consistent in your response to the grieving individual – if you have promised to bring a milkshake at 4:00 p.m. every Tuesday do so, whether the person closes the door on you or greets you with open arms – just be there.
Additional resources about this subject, including Tips for Talking to Bereaved Parents, can be found at:
Bereavement Support Services in Anne Arundel County
Chesapeake Life Center
Hospice of the Chesapeake
90 Ritchie Highway
Pasadena MD 21401
Provides a variety of grief support services, including support groups, individual counseling, summer programs, and specialized grief support classes and events. Specialized support groups include Loss of Life Partner/Spouse groups, groups for children and for those who have lost a loved one traumatically, as to overdose or suicide. Call for more information or visit www.chesapeakelifecenter.org
Bereaved Parents of the USA
Anne Arundel County Chapter Meetings are held at:
Calvary United Methodist Church
301 Rowe Blvd
Annapolis MD 21401
First Thursday of the month at 7:15 PM
Provides monthly support groups, phone support, a newsletter, conferences, and special memorial programs throughout the year. Their mission is to help grieving parents and families rebuild their lives following the death of a child of any age. Parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members are welcome to participate. Call for more information or visit bereavedparentsusa.org
Miscarriage, Infant Death and Stillbirth (MIS) Support Group
Holy Cross Resource Center
Silver Spring, MD
First Wednesday of the month
MIS is a support group for parents who have suffered a pregnancy loss or infant loss. MIS also runs Isaiah’s Promise, a support program for parents continuing a pregnancy after a severe or fatal diagnosis. Call for more information.
518 S. Frederick Ave
Gaithersburg MD 20877
A non-medical volunteer hospice in Montgomery County providing free practical and emotional support for terminally ill adults and for people grieving the death of a loved one. Services include adult bereavement support groups and children’s bereavement programs. Call 301-869-4673 for information or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Compassionate Friends
Meetings are held at United Parish of Bowie
2515 Mitchelville Rd
Bowie MD 20716
Second Thursday of the month 7:00 PM
Assists families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive. The volunteer organization offers support groups, memorial services, conferences and information and referral. Call for more information or email email@example.com
Baltimore Survivors of Suicide Support Group
Meetings held at Church of the Redeemer
5603 N. Charles Street
Baltimore MD 21210
410-435-7333 or 410-322-2000
Support Group for Survivors of Suicide Second and Fourth Tuesday of the month 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
A survivor facilitated support group for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. The organization provides support groups, information and resources, an e-newsletter and special events. Call for more information.
Center for Infant and Child Loss
University of Maryland
Provides information and referrals for families who have lost an infant or child. Services include educational information, community outreach and peer support. For more information see infantandchildloss.org
1657 Crofton Pkwy
Crofton MD 21114
Wednesdays at 7:00 PM
Changing Focus is an organization which provides a variety of support groups, including The Healing Journey Support Group for persons who have lost a spouse or partner. changingfocus.org
Family Bereavement Center for Baltimore City
10 North Calvert Street
Baltimore MD 21202
A service of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. Provides counseling for adults and children who have lost a loved one from homicide. Serves residents of Baltimore City and non-residents if the homicide occurred in Baltimore City.
Provides grief seminars and support groups throughout the country and internationally. Call for a location near you and to register. griefshare.org
255 Comet Drive
Prince Frederick MD 20678
Provides individual grief counseling, bereavement support groups and children’s grief camps for persons in Calvert County. calverthospice.org
Hospice of Queen Anne’s County
255 Comet Drive
Centerville MD 21617
Provides grief management classes, children’s groups, children’s weekend camps and other support services. Services are for residents of QA County. No fee. hospiceofqueenannes.org
Capital Caring / Capital Hospice
Provides grief support groups, classes and special programs throughout D.C. capitalcaring.org
Hospital Sponsored Bereavement Support Groups
Baltimore Washington Medical Center
General Bereavement Support Group
Group Series are scheduled throughout the year
Contact The Life Center to Register: 410-987-2003
Anne Arundel Medical Center
Prenatal Loss Support Group
First Monday of the Month
Meets at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church
4 Wallace Manor Road, Edgewater, MD
Contact Ann O’Sullivan 410-570-2164
St. Agnes Hospital
Provides information and referral to the community.
The Hope Program provides individual grief counseling to adults at no cost.
Contact Jen at 410-368-2970 for an appointment or more information. stagnes.org
Doctor’s Community Hospital
General Bereavement Support Group
First and Third Thursdays of the month
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Contact Capital Hospice to Register: 301-883-0866