Grief Support Goes Virtual

Lisa Norton, Development & Communications Coordinator

April 21, 2020

Angela Hospice’s free community grief support programs have always been a welcome resource for residents of southeast Michigan, but in a time when stay-at-home orders are in place, attending a support group, or meeting with a grief counselor face to face is not an option. So Angela Hospice has turned to technology to conduct grief support programs.
Someone who is grieving can often feel alone – and now that we are all experiencing forced isolation, Angela Hospice Bereavement Manager Debbie Vallandingham, LMSW-ACSW, explained that we are all grieving.
“Everyone, the whole collective consciousness…what everyone is feeling is grief,” Vallandingham said. “It’s the first time in our lives that our communities have been told that we can’t move around freely. That is disconcerting on its own. It’s a loss of our way of life.”
Whether someone is grieving the loss of a loved one, or a loss of their everyday normal, Vallandingham said grief can affect us in a variety of ways.
“Grief affects every part of our being,” Vallandingham explained. “Its effects can be felt in all aspects of our life: how we view things, our attitude, how we’re sleeping or not sleeping, even our appetite. Grief is more than just a bunch of feelings in our head.  It affects us physically, cognitively, and emotionally, touching every part of us.”
Angela Hospice has begun offering weekly virtual support group meetings via GoToMeeting and has switched individual counselling sessions to tele-counseling sessions. We’ve also started a new group for those who have lost a loved one to COVID-19, or are experiencing anticipatory grief while a loved one battles the virus.
We’ve also launched an online video series to help those who are grieving and provide practical solutions to help manage the grief and anxiety that living in a pandemic can bring.
All are welcome to participate in these groups. For login information, click here.

Beginning the Journey Virtual Support Group

Every Wednesday, 2-3:30 p.m.
This group focuses on education and support for anyone experiencing a recent loss.

Nobody Grieves Alone: A Virtual Support Group for Covid-19 Loss

Every Friday, 2-3:30 p.m.
In her April 1st article, Sandee LaMotte of CNN noted that, “In the midst of heartbreak, we are alone, unable to reach out and comfort those who mourn, standing a careful six feet from each other.” But in today’s connected world, we do not have to be truly alone. Join Angela Hospice’s Bereavement team for Nobody Grieves Alone. This group is for those who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19, or those with a loved one who is currently battling COVID-19. 

Living with Grief Virtual Support Group

The second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 2-3:30 p.m.
This is a peer support group for anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one.

Loss of Spouse Virtual Support Group

The third Thursday of each month, 2-3:30 p.m.
This is a peer support group for anyone who has experienced the death of a spouse.

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