Chesapeake Life Center’s grief support is available to anyone in our community who is grieving the loss of a loved one, regardless of their relationship to hospice or the type of loss. While grief is a universal experience, the experience of loss is unique for each person. Even when two people are grieving for the same person, the way they feel and act out their grief can be very different. Although sometimes folks feel like they are “going crazy” when they are grieving, most are grieving quite normally and just need some support and a listening ear to reassure them that they are going to be okay. Click on family resources to find books and websites with helpful information to assist in coping.
“Let grief find the freedom to be expressed. Let grief find the right to be understood.” — Kei Gilbert
Our professional team of licensed social workers, counselors and masters level interns specialize in grief, loss and transition for adults, children, teens, couples and families.
- Reducing feelings of distress and isolation.
- Managing anxiety and stress.
- Developing coping strategies.
- Increasing personal awareness and insight.
Hospice of the Chesapeake family members may receive short-term grief counseling (up to 10 sessions) and attend support groups at no charge for up to 13 months after the death of a loved one. Click here to hear from a family member who experienced the support provided by the Chesapeake Life Center.
We also offer services to community members whose loved one was not cared for by Hospice of the Chesapeake. For these community members, counseling is offered on a sliding fee scale. We do not bill to or participate in any insurance plans directly, but can provide you with an invoice to submit to your insurance or health savings plan. From time to time we also offer workshops that are open to everyone in the community, such as our Mother’s Day Tea.
Grief Support Groups
Facilitated support groups provide an opportunity for individuals to explore their grief with others who are grieving in an environment of trust. General bereavement groups are structured to meet for six consecutive weeks. Other groups, such as Loss of Life Partner, Suicide Loss, Together: Silent No More (substance use loss) and Child Loss, meet on a monthly drop-in basis.
Registration is required for all groups. To register, please call 888-501-7077. For group dates and details, visit our event calendar.
Family-Centered Grief Support
Family-Centered Grief Support programs through the Chesapeake Life Center focus on supporting families. Though the emotions of grief can be a highly personal experience, the impact is felt in the entire family. Along with culture and religion, families teach us how to cope with death, dying and grief. Understanding loss and grief from a family perspective enables families to engage in the work of grief together and develop strategies for navigating grief as a family recognizing that each person’s role and experience of loss is different.
There can be a paralyzing effect of grief on the family after a loss due to illness, but also due to sudden or traumatic death, suicide or substance abuse. Click below to hear from a family member on the support she received after experiencing the traumatic loss of her father.
Our approach educates, empowers and involves each family member through healthy bereavement addressing the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and social impact of grief. Families discover internal strengths and capabilities to emerge from loss changed, but not broken. To learn more about our grief support programs, visit our event calendar.
Our grief day camp programs are for children ages 6 to 18 who are grieving a significant loss by death. Designed by our team of professional counselors and led by staff and trained volunteers, these programs help children and teens learn to navigate life without their loved one. A safe space is provided for participants to share memories, express difficult feelings and try new activities surrounded by others who have also experienced loss and grief.
In 2019, we will offer two different day grief programs:
A Children’s Grief Day Camp for ages 6 to 13 will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. June 21st and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 22nd on the Hospice of the Chesapeake’s John & Cathy Belcher Campus in Pasadena. Participants will get to know each other on Friday night, then return the next day to explore their grief, learn tools to manage it and have a lot of fun. Through art, play, conversations and support, children will learn new ways to cope with the difficult task of grieving, while learning they are not alone. The cost is $50.
NEW: A second Children’s Grief Day Camp will be held from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. on August 17th at the College Park Airport and Aviation Museum in College Park, MD. This camp will provide an interactive workshop experience where children ages 6-12 can explore their grief, make friends, and have a lot of fun! Through art, play, conversations, and support, children will develop new ways that help with the difficult task of grieving, while learning they are not alone. The cost is $40.
The teens’ grief camp for ages 13 to 18, Camp Phoenix, will take place from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. June 22nd at Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Millersville. As teens get to know each other and learn they are not alone in grieving, they will learn about their own grief and build skills to navigate it through a variety of activities, including art and team building exercises. Here they will find the many emotions of grief are met with care and compassion, as professional counselors and trained volunteers offer their expertise and support. The cost is $40.
All meals, snacks and activities are included in cost to attend. There are scholarships available for those in need. Space is limited. Registration is required and can be completed by filling out the application below and returning it via mail to the address on the application. If you have any questions, please call 888-501-7077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SoulCollage® and Grief: A Primer for Grievers
This two-hour online recorded workshop is presented by Chesapeake Life Center Bereavement Counselor, Roberta Rook, LCPC. The workshop will introduce you to SoulCollage®, an interactive and dynamic technique using collage-making to explore aspects of yourself, important relationships with others, life patterns/directions, and the spiritual imagery/guides we may use to derive meaning from life experience. No artistic experience is needed to create using the SoulCollage® process. It can provide an especially meaningful way for you to process grief, and to remember and illustrate connection with loved ones who have died.
To locate a hospice bereavement service provider in your area, contact the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
John & Cathy Belcher Institute for Thought Leadership – Turning Innovative Ideas into Strategic Solutions
“The Challenge John and Cathy Belcher gave us with their gift was to think about healthcare delivery differently. Thought leadership at the Belcher Institute includes every Hospice of the Chesapeake employee and the teaching they impart to caregivers as part of their work. It also includes our interns who are doing research on the latest trends in care, our physicians and the trends they see in the field, policy makers at all levels and, most importantly, our patients. We want to hear and learn from our patients and families in a great way. We want to be intentional and thoughtful in walking the journey together.” — Ben Marcantonio, President & CEO, Hospice of the Chesapeake
Courageous Conversations is a series of community-based conversations about end-of-life decision making and caring for loved ones with chronic diseases.
Chesapeake Life Center serves the bereavement needs of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties.
General information for clients and families:
Main number: 410-987-2129
Toll free: 888-501-7077
Chesapeake Life Center is not a crisis center. Our phone is not staffed 24-hours a day. If you feel you need immediate intervention or are at risk of self-harm please call:
410-768-5522 — Anne Arundel County Crisis Response
301-429-2185 — Prince George’s County Crisis Response
301-864-7130 — Prince George’s County Suicide Hotline