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Grief Support Resources To Offer Families

Looking for unique ways to help families cope with a loss? Grief support and aftercare is an important part of funeral service and helping families mourn.

It goes without saying that grief support and aftercare are important parts of funeral service. While many people are there to offer support before and during the service, its often the days, weeks, and months afterward that are most difficult for the family. While offering condolences, many people will say things like “if there’s anything you need, we’re here for you”. The problem though is that without action, these are just words.

As a funeral director, I’m sure you know the importance of being there for the family. After the service has ended and everyone has gone home is when grief can be the most powerful. Having a library of resources and materials to share with families can benefit both the family and your firm.

For this week’s blog post, we’re going to discuss different types of grief support resources available to share with families.

The Importance Of Grief Resources

After a loved one’s death, we all experience grief in different ways. This whirlwind of emotions can catch you off guard and cause you to act out of character. Although some may put on a brave face, having a support system surrounding you is incredibly important. As a funeral director, you can become a part of this system and be there to offer resources the bereaved may otherwise not find or search for.

Because everyone grieves differently, your library of resources should have variation. Not everyone will want to attend a remembrance event or read a brochure so having other ways to offer support is important.

Furthermore, having a robust library of grief support resources and services helps you keep in contact with the family. By showing how your firm goes above and beyond to support the bereaved, you can build long-lasting relationships with the family. This can help instill trust and bring the family back the next time they need your services.

Ways To Offer Grief Support And Aftercare

There are plenty of unique ways for your funeral home to offer grief support and aftercare services to the community. Below, we’ve highlighted some popular options and ideas to offer your support.

Connect With Local Groups

In most communities, there are often local groups dedicated to managing grief and offering support. If you haven’t already, consider partnering with these groups to continue to help families long after the service ends. Some funeral homes are now creating programs that connect the bereaved with bereavement support specialists. Many of these programs include a monthly phone call or check in from the specialist for the first year after death.

Remembrance Events

Remembrance events are a popular way for many funeral homes to offer continued support and stay in touch with the families they serve. This not only helps those who are grieving but can build long-lasting relationships between the funeral home and family members.

While many funeral homes will plan these events around holidays like Christmas, Mothers Day and Fathers Day, don’t limit yourself to just special occasions. Some funeral homes are now planning monthly bereavement groups for families they’ve served to connect and offer support to one another as they grieve and heal.

You may also want to consider partnering with local retirement homes as well. Sometimes, residents are unable to make it to the funeral home for such events. Instead, you could bring a remembrance event to them and create a special ceremony to honor and remember loved ones who have been lost.

Follow Up With The Family

Something as simple as a phone call or letter can sometimes make a big difference. If you don’t already, consider setting reminders to follow up with the family on special dates like the deceased’s birthday, marriage anniversary, or death anniversary. Again, actions like this show your firm will continue to be there long after the service ends.

Something as simple as a quick phone call, letter, or even sending flowers could help make a difficult day, a little bit easier for the bereaved.

Grief Resources To Share With Families

Besides just books and articles, there are several grief resources you can share with families and include as a part of your aftercare program. Below, we’ve provided links, contact information, and suggestions for different resources you can connect families with.

Grief Podcasts

In recent years, podcasts have become an incredibly popular way for people to consume information. A quick Google search and you can find several quality grief podcasts to help people manage grief.

Fortunately, you don’t need to complete that search. In an earlier blog post, we highlighted five popular podcasts about grief and coping with a loved one’s passing.

Click here to read the post.

Phone Helplines

Grief support groups and counselors are helpful, but sometimes you just need to talk to someone right away. Some people may not feel comfortable meeting with someone in person. Being able to stay anonymous and just talk is what they may need. That’s the great thing about grief helplines, you can call them from anywhere, whenever you need to talk.

Grief Recovery Helpline – 1-800-445-4808

Offers counseling, referrals, support and publications

American Trauma Society – 1-800-556-7890

The American Trauma Society is dedicated to the elimination of needless death and disability from injury.

National Alliance on Mental Illness – 1-800-950-6264

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Mental Health America – 1-800-969-6642

Mental Health America (MHA) – founded in 1909 – is the nation’s leading community-based non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.

Online Grief Chatrooms

Online grief chatrooms are great because they connect the bereaved with others with shared experiences. Being able to talk to someone who understands what you’re going through can be very beneficial and help people cope with their loss.

Grief Hope Network

Greif Hope Network aims to help people “pick up the pieces of their lives and begin to sketch out a new normal”. The website connects members and professionals by offering assistance and free resources for people navigating the emotional, financial, and legal issues of losing a loved one.

HealthfulChat

HealthfulChat runs a grief chatroom and forum for bereavement and grief peer support. The grief social network believes that the caring and support ears of others who understand what the bereaved are experiencing can make navigating the journey of grief easier.

Grieving.com

Grieving.com is one of the oldest grief support communities on the internet. The website focuses on providing grief support through community interaction and supports more than a quater million members.

Online Grief Support

Online Grief Support is a social community to help people grieve alongside others who understand what they are experiencing. The website features a healing center, chat rooms, and a journal feature to write private or public blog posts to help express how you are feeling.

Email Subscription Grief Support

Included with FrontRunner funeral home websites are two email grief support programs. Both of these programs are built to offer support to those who are grieving for the first year following a loved one’s death.

365 Days Of Healing Email Program

This year-long series of 365 daily email messages is designed to assist the bereaved in mourning with intention. Not simply an affirmation, each message offers insight into the nature and purpose of grief. Carefully chosen quotations from literature and suggested activities nurture self-awareness, support self-care, and build resiliency; while anthropological examination of cross-cultural bereavement practices widens our appreciation of the scope and variety of the human experience of grief.

52 Weekly Tips Email Program

This year-long series of 52 weekly email messages is intended for those who want to be an ally to a family member or friend who is in bereavement. These messages include insightful literary quotations and provide suggested ways to support the grieving; but also focus on developing strong self-care practices for the caregiver. Cross-cultural insights are also offered, widening our appreciation of the scope and importance of the tasks involved in caring for the bereaved.

YouTube

YouTube has grown to become one of the most popular websites in the world with over 300 hours of content uploaded by users every minute. Part of that content includes grief support videos. A quick search and you can find hundreds of videos that can be helpful to those who are grieving. The content ranges from inspiring Ted Talks to roundtable discussions from different support groups.

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