Companioning in Grief and Loss

Grief ‘Companions’ at Oceanside Hospice Society

Companioning Volunteers and Staff Group - Oceanside Hospice Society

Oceanside Hospice Society is now offering ‘grief companion’ volunteers to enhance the bereavement support services already offered to those who have experienced a loss. In addition to our clinical counselors and supportive groups we now have six Hospice volunteers who have received extra training in Dr. Alan Wolfelt’s philosophy of the “Companioning” model of Grief Care. This model is based upon eleven tenets of caregiving the bereaved. Dr. Wolfelt, who is the director for the Center for Loss in Colorado says that “companioning the bereaved is not about assessing, analyzing, fixing or resolving another’s grief. Instead it is about being totally present to the mourner, even being a temporary guardian of their soul.”

Many grieving people feel very soon after their loss that they should be further along in the process. They feel the pressure to be getting back to ‘normal’. Those of us who give support to the bereaved have come to understand that grief is a soul-based journey and cannot nor should be hurried along. Grief is anchored in the heart and needs time to catch up to what our head already knows. The central role of the companion volunteer is to provide a safe and non-judgemental listening space for people to acknowledge the reality of the loss, embrace pain, review memories and search for meaning, as they integrate the loss into their lives.

For more information on the services at Oceanside Hospice Society please call 250-752-6227.