Bereavement Professional

  • 1.  Bereavement Self-Care/Personal Loss

    Posted 06-03-2022 09:17 AM
    As bereavement professionals, we sometimes burn the candle at both ends and put ourselves at risk. With that being said, what is your self-care plan particularly after you have suffered a loss in your own family? Have you stepped away from support groups that you may be leading out in? Do you do funerals or visitations? I appreciate your input.

    Kristina Allen M.A.
    Bereavement Coordinator
    VNA Hospice of the Wabash Valley

  • 2.  RE: Bereavement Self-Care/Personal Loss

    Posted 06-07-2022 07:13 PM

    This is such a great question.


    For me, when I have had personal losses I have tried to see it as a time to practice the things that I share with those I work with. This means

    -remembering that each loss is unique and may feel different

    -trust myself and do the things that intuitively feel comforting or supportive

    -take time and space as I need to

    -ask for what I need and try to find ways to get those needs met

    -allow myself to experience and validate the emotions connected to the loss

    -use ritual or practices to help me digest the loss and transform the relationship to a non-interactive/non-physical one.


    RE stepping out of groups- this depends on the loss. When my mom died in Aug 2022 I delayed the group that was supposed to start by a month. I knew I wouldn't be able to facilitate in the first few weeks. By week 4 I was managing for short periods of time. By the time the group cycle started it felt supportive to be creating a space for people to openly learn and talk about grief. This was my experience. I've had a coworker and a friend die unexpectedly. For these losses I didn't feel like I needed to cancel groups.  It may be different for other people or for myself when other losses come about in the future. I think it really depends on how the grief is unfolding as to what to do and what to step away from for a time.


    If you'd like to talk more personally, feel free to send me an email or call.


    Laura Lirette M.Ed, MSW, CSWA (She/Her)

    Bereavement Coordinator

    Mt Hood Hospice

    PO Box 1269

    Sandy, OR 97055

    Main number: 503-668-5545

    Fax: 503-668-7951


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  • 3.  RE: Bereavement Self-Care/Personal Loss

    Posted 06-08-2022 10:18 AM
    Edited by Lisa Marie Idzikowski 06-08-2022 10:34 AM
    What a great response Laura! It sums up so many important things.
    I would just add that knowing those things that bring our balance back for us is so important and more than ever really making them visible in a concrete way. For me I have needed to do this, listing them out in an accessible place has helped. With 10 years in the trauma and ER, 16 in hospice as a SW and now bereavement, self care is so important me, and for all of us in caregiving roles! Then making sure I use them before things get really bad. I have discovered that watching for caregiver fatigue in myself before it gets unmanageable is so important in being able to do the jobs I love and feel good for myself and family. 
    Lisa Marie Idzikowski, MA, APSW
    Luther Manor Hospice
    Bereavement Coordinator/Social Worker
    Main 414-847-3041
    Direct 414-847-5065
    Fax 414-438-3180

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