Community Grief Services Program

Providence Hospice Foundation Sonoma County

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Our Community Grief Services fund allows us to provide grief support and counseling to all members of our community. This program is free for anyone who needs us, regardless of whether they had a family member on our end-of-life service. This means that anyone who has suffered a loss is welcome to seek counseling services in a group or individual setting. On average per year, 65% of our grief clients have no prior relationship with Providence Hospice Sonoma County.

The program is offered in both Spanish and English and includes a children’s grief program which serves kids ages 5-17 process their grief. We are committed to providing this service to our community although we receive no reimbursement for this work. Funds for this program come from community donations and grants. 

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Ease My Way - Jennifer's Story

When Jennifer’s parents needed her, there was no question that she would be there for them. Her mother suffered a stroke, necessitating a move to assisted living. “Though Mama was in the memory unit and Daddy had a regular room, he would be sure to greet her every morning, and kiss her goodnight every evening. The staff used to joke that he was wearing out the carpet traveling between their two rooms. They were completely devoted to one another for 65 years.”

Jennifer’s dad died of pneumonia in August of 2016. Her mother entered hospice care the following November and died in August of 2017. Jennifer spent that year traveling back and forth between her home in California and her parents’ home in Massachusetts. “It was a tough time, but I knew I only had once chance at doing this right. I wasn’t there when Daddy died. I was determined to be there when Mama did.”

Both Jennifer’s parents had hospice care during their final days, and the organization that cared for them let her know there was grief support available to her. “When I came home after Mama died, I realized I had never really grieved my dad’s death, and now I had two parents to grieve. It really hit me hard. I am a very strong person, but I suddenly felt like I was coming apart. I felt like I had a body, but there was nothing inside. I knew I needed something.” Jennifer took a chance and called Hospice of Petaluma, hoping that the grief support she’d been offered in Massachusetts would be available to her here.

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