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Grief is a healthy and normal reaction to losing someone you love. Each person grieves differently and there is no timeline for how long it takes before the hurt of loss lessens. Oswego County Hospice understands this; we know that grieving can begin before the actual death and last longer than a few weeks, or months.

Oswego County Hospice offers a consistent and continuing grief and bereavement support to families, friends and staff while a patient is under our care and for up to 13 months following a death. Even after that time, we are always available to listen and help you work through your grief. 

 Oswego County Hospice grief and bereavement services include:

  • Home visits from bereavement specialists, and volunteers
  • Bereavement telephone support
  • Bereavement mailings that consist of educational materials to assist in the grief process
  • Annual memorial service usually held in October that honors the memory of patients in the hospice program in the past year, as well as community members
  • Remembrance Tree Lighting usually held in December as a way to make new traditions for the holidays
  • Camp Rainbow of Hope
  • Community resource referrals to grief therapists, community support groups, etc.

Symptoms of Normal Grief

  1. Feelings include sadness, exhaustion, numbness, helplessness, loneliness, disorganization, preoccupation with the lost object or person, anxiety, and depression.
  2. Thought patterns include fear, guilt, denial, ambivalence, anger
  3. Physical sensations include nausea, vomiting, anorexia, weight loss or gain, constipation or diarrhea, diminished hearing or sight, chest pain, shortness of breath, tachycardia
  4. Behaviors include crying, difficulty carrying out activities of daily living and insomnia

Complications of Bereavement

  1. Chronic Grief – symptoms of grief occur beyond the expected time frame and the severity of symptoms is greater; depression may result
  2. Delayed Grief – when symptoms of grief are not expressed and are suppressed, a delayed reaction of grief occurs, the nurse should discuss the normal process of grieving with the client and give permission to express these symptoms
Survivor's Checklist