It’s only natural after the death of a loved one to feel grief. How we mourn and deal with that loss is entirely personal. The most important thing to realise is that you don’t need to face it alone. Heart of Kent Hospice offers a range of bereavement support for the families, friends and carers of our patients. We are here to support you whether it’s been several months or even up to two years after your loss. We hope our Heart of Kent Hospice bereavement booklet will reassure you that the range of emotions you are feeling are a natural part of bereavement. The booklet also contains information on people and groups that can also support you.
Understandably, because of the coronavirus, we have had to adapt the way we support you through your grief. While we would love to be able to offer the services below in the way we used to, these have had to change for now.
We are still here for you and you can find out more about how we have adapted our services in this news item. We have also created an information sheet on what to do when your loved one dies during the coronavirus outbreak.
If you still have questions after reading these updates or you think you may benefit from bereavement support, please contact our Family Support team on 01622 792200 ext 260. They may not be able to answer straight away so please leave a message and they will be in touch.
Our fortnightly bereavement drop-in meetings are cancelled until further notice.
However, our family Support Team are still able to offer you emotional support over the telephone on Thursday mornings 10:00am– 12:00pm. Please call on 01622 792200 ext 259/260, or email us firstname.lastname@example.org. They may not be able to answer straight away so please leave a message and they will be in touch.
Bereavement in the workplace
We recognise that many local employees will be supporting their colleagues through a bereavement. We have produced a guide with some useful information to enable your business to fully support your colleagues and teams in a compassionate and sensitive way.
Precious Time - a book offering support for bereaved families with children
Heart of Kent Hospice Social Worker Lyndsey Stukalov-Stone has used her Hospice experience to release a debut book, Precious Time, to help children understand their feelings when a loved one is dying. The book is an interactive tool for adults to use as a guide to plan their own conversation or to be used in direct work with children. The child is gently encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings in a variety of ways and will through the book understand their loved one is facing a life limiting illness, what this means and how to make the most of the precious time left. The book supports the child's mental health through an interactive, gentle and validating approach.
Lyndsey works at the Hospice supporting children, young people and families who are facing a terminal illness. She provides invaluable care from the point of diagnosis through to bereavement, and tailors her support to meet the individual needs of each family. When it comes to the conversation about telling a child someone close to them is going to die, a key question she faces from families is how to tell a child this news and support them though this conversation. Lyndsey says of the book "It is as if the readers have me with them, in a session, exploring the most difficult of conversations when a child needs to know a loved one is going to die."
Heart of Kent Hospice is jointly publishing Precious Time and copies of the book will be given to patients under our care. Local organisations who work with children facing family bereavement will be gifted a copy and the book will also be available to purchase here at the Hospice and online: