According to Ilene Kotajarvi, Hospice Volunteer Coordinator for OSF Hospice, the program is not limited to individuals who have been involved in the Hospice program, but to anyone in the community.
"When people experience grief, their response can be from a recent loss or one that took place many years ago," she
"The important thing is for individuals to feel that their experiences are real for them."
said the team can provide a warm, caring and confidential environment that allows the grieving individual the opportunity to be supported by others who understand.
"They are not alone in this process," she
"Groups can help in the grief recovery, group members understand that others have experienced similar emotional and psychological grief-related problems.
And groups help members heal and find hope through trust, openness and honesty."
said the grief group is open to the public for anyone who has experienced loss no matter how long ago the loss was.
"With some people there's never a closure, whether its something the person realizes or doesn't realize," she
"It can go on for years.
But everyone's different."
Even with group support, Kotajarvi
said healing may take much longer than the four weeks of grief support.
"Some can begin the healing sooner while others take longer," she
"The problem is we don't deal with grief in our society.
A loved one dies and you get three days off of work and then you are expected to be over it and get back to work.
It doesn't work that way."
said an additional four-week support group will be offered in the fall.