What you need to know about bereavement and grief
There has been an ever-increasing desire to expand the traditional roles beyond "at-need" and "pre-need" services into "after-need" or post funeral services for the bereaved. Jerns Funeral Chapel would like to help you through this process and be there for you even after you leave our facility.
The death of a loved one is one of life’s most difficult experiences. The bereaved struggle with many intense and frightening emotions including depression, anger, and guilt. People often feel isolated in their grief, but having someone to lean on can help them through the grieving process.
Losing someone or something you love or care deeply about is very painful. You may experience all kinds of difficult emotions and it may feel like the pain and sadness you're experiencing will never let up. These are normal reactions to a significant loss. But while there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain.
Don’t let discomfort prevent you from reaching out to someone grieving. Now, more than ever, your support is needed. You might not know exactly what to say or what to do, but that’s okay. You don’t need to have answers or give advice. The most important thing you can do for a grieving person is to simply be there; your support and caring presence can help someone cope with the pain and begin to heal.
Understanding the grieving process
The better your understanding of grief and how it is healed, the better equipped you’ll be to help a bereaved friend or family member:
• There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Grief does not always unfold in orderly or predictable stages. It can be an emotional rollercoaster, with unpredictable highs, lows, and setbacks. Everyone grieves differently, so avoid telling the bereaved what they “should” be feeling or doing.
• Grief may involve extreme emotions and behaviors. Feelings of guilt, anger, despair, and fear are common. A grieving person may yell to the heavens, obsess about the death, lash out at loved ones, or cry for hours on end. The bereaved need reassurance that what they feel is normal. Don’t judge them or take their grief reactions personally.
• There is no set timetable for grieving. For many people, recovery after bereavement takes 18 to 24 months, but for others, the grieving process may be longer or shorter. Don’t pressure the bereaved to move on or make them feel like they’ve been grieving too long. This can actually slow the healing process.
The Remembrance Process
From Grieving to Remembrance
The Remembrance Process℠ captures the importance of the human need to be remembered. It is a step-by-step process from before death through the final farewell that uses time-tested ways to help families move from grief to remembrance.
Survivors of Violent Crime Victims
Local Chapter/Whatcom County
1212 Indian Street
P. O. Box 4124
Bellingham, WA 98227
733-6714 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
National Hotline: 1-800-346-7555
Hospice of Whatcom County
Call: Bereavement Coordinator @ 788-6300 x 4664
Drop-in Support Groups:
Tuesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:30 PM
Wednesdays from 2:00 to 3:30 PM
Both groups meet at:
St. Luke's Health Education Center
3333 Squalicum Parkway in Bellingham
Kids Council NW
Established in 1998, Kids’ Council North West is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that provides grief support to children, teens and their families. KCNW supports Camp Willie, a Camp Fire USA resident grief camp for youth. We also provide resources and support to schools and the community and run the Tree House, a peer support group program for grieving children, teens and their families.
The Compassionate Friends
A parent support group for a cancer-related loss of a child
The Whatcom County Chapter is inactive at this time. To find a group near you:
Web site: www.compassionatefriends.org
National toll-free number: 1-877-969-0010
(Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Central Time)
Summer Camp for children who have lost a loved one
Local contact: Mica Hartley: 733-1492
Camp Fire USA: 1-425-258-5437
For information and registration:
Evergreen AIDS Foundation
Local Contact: 671-0703
1509 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225
For Displaced Homemakers with loss of primary income source
Program Coordinator: 671-2170, ext. 3415 (Whatcom Community College)
S.O.S. (Survivors of Suicide)
Contact Mica Hartley at 733-1492
Community Cancer Center
Outreach Coordinator: Carol Brumet @ 738-6706
3217 Squalicum Parkway
Meets on Sundays from 7:00 PM- 9:00 PM
Faith Community Church
586 Birch Bay-Lynden Road
Hopeline from Verizon