And Just Like That, I'm Alone - In-person grief support group

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Name: And Just Like That, I'm Alone - In-person grief support group
Date: April 8, 2024
Time: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM EDT
Event Description:
Join our April 8 Beacons of Hope grief gathering for a presentation and dialogue centered on supporting caregivers through the anticipatory grief cycle and its aftermath.
The next Beacons of Hope grief gathering is Monday, April 8  from 5-7 pm in Mason Auditorium featuring the topic: And Just Like That, I'm AloneAnticipatory Grief and its Aftermath
  • Presentation from Hospice liaison, Kristen Bagley
  • Explore the different Caregiver Stages of grief
  • Group Sharing and Dialogue
Attendees are asked to reserve their seat and sign up here.

Grief is often understood to happen after a loss occurs, for example after a loved one dies. People expecting a loss may also experience anticipatory grief. This means experiencing the emotions associated with grief before the expected loss actually happens. Rather than grieving the loss of a person, anticipatory grief might be better understood as grieving the loss of experiences, possibilities or an imagined future together.

When facing a significant loss, like the death of a loved one, it is natural to feel many strong emotions. People diagnosed with a terminal illness and those facing the death of a loved one may experience anticipatory grief. If someone you love is facing a terminal illness, it is common to experience anticipatory grief in the months, weeks and days before death. 

Anticipatory grief is not as widely understood or discussed as grief after death. This means that people struggling with anticipatory grief may feel guilty or ashamed of these feelings and might not seek support to help them cope, especially if they are focused on caring for their loved one through end of life. They may delay or ignore their own grieving in order to prioritize being a caregiver.

Feelings of grief before death are normal — it's important to recognize them, and to talk about them. Additionally, experiencing anticipatory grief doesn't always mean that you will grieve your loved one any less after they are gone. In some cases, carers of people who are terminally ill become closer to their loved one, making their feelings of grief after death even more intense.

If you, or someone you know, can relate to this topic, whether as a parent, spouse, or family member caring for or having cared for a terminally ill loved one, or a professional caregiver in a healthcare related field, we invite you to this gather for collective sharing and support.

In November, as part of a collaborative effort among Volunteer Services and Spiritual Care, the medical center began hosting a monthly bereavement program to assist individuals and families who experience loss in transforming their grief to healing by providing support and outreach services.
Additionally, our monthly grief gathering will provide support and guidance to bereaved individuals and families following the death of a loved one at the medical center, as well as to those in the community seeking support.

Our collaborative bereavement programming will feature:
  • Monthly event about experiencing and coping with loss with breakout discussions.
  • Information and resources about grief
  • Memorial services to honor those who have died twice a year.
  • Referral information to peer support groups in the community and counseling services.
For those interested in attending a monthly grief gathering, there is no ongoing commitment expected – participants are encouraged to attend sessions as needed every second Monday of the month. These sessions will be hosted in-person at the medical center in Mason Auditorium from 5 pm to 7 pm.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center
489 State Street, Bangor, ME 04401
Mason Auditorium
Date/Time Information:
Monday, April 8, 2024
5 -7 pm
Contact Information:
To reserve your spot, please sign up here
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