Hospice hosts loss of spouse grief support programs

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published July 25, 2014

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SOUTHFIELD — Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things to go through in life, and it is said that losing a spouse is even harder.

In order to help Michigan residents who have lost a spouse, Hospice of Michigan is holding free Loss of Spouse Grief Support programs in Plymouth and Southfield this summer.

The public is invited to discuss the hardships that come with losing a spouse 1-2:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at HOM’s office in Southfield, located at 26957 Northwestern Hwy. Suite 140.

The session will also feature a presentation by Ron Gries, author of “Through Death to Life,” which is a collection of poetry and prose Gries wrote during his wife’s five-year battle with cancer. The disease eventually took her life.

During his presentation, Gries will reflect on his experience and discuss dying, living, grief, healing and hope.

Claudia Been, grief support counselor at HOM, said the program is also to discover commonalities in attendees’ losses. 

“Everybody’s loss is unique, but there are a lot of commonalities in the room,” Been said.  “Somebody might say something and then somebody will say, ‘Oh, I thought I was the only one.’ There’s instant bonding through people who attend.”

Grief Support Services Director Karen Monts said grieving over the loss of a spouse can be quite different than any other type of grief.
“They are not only grieving the loss of someone and missing them, they’re trying to figure out how to become whole again,” Monts said. “Some people say they felt like somebody cut off a limb.”

“The loss of a spouse is one of hardest losses because a spouse is somebody we choose to spend our life with,” Been said.

After the presentation by Gries, there will be time to ask questions and have a discussion about coping with loss. Gries’ book will also be available to attendees, at no charge.

Although the event is free, preregistration is required. To register, contact Claudia Been at (248) 334-1323.

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