What is a Grief & Bereavement Companion?
A grief & bereavement companion is a person who has had additional specialized training in the “Companioning” model of care, established by Dr. Alan Wolfelt. This philosophy of care is designed to be compassionate, mourner-led, and soul and spirit based. It is focused on actively listening to those experiencing grief and is about being present to another person’s pain rather than taking it away or treating it. Through listening in this way, it creates a safe, non-judgemental, sacred space to tell one’s story, to walk alongside of another as they bear the weight of their grief, transform and integrate the loss, and find their way to a new normal.
Different Types of Grief:
- Normal Grief: A grief response that falls under a broad umbrella of predictability. There is movement towards acceptance of the loss, symptoms soften, and one stays engaged in basic daily activities.
- Anticipatory Grief: Grief that proceeds the actual loss. A natural response to a loss that is anticipated, such as when someone dies from long term illness. When the anticipated loss is accepted and understood the grief response may begin.
- Disenfranchised Grief: When one’s grief is invalidated or seen as insignificant by a culture, society, or support group. This can occur when death is stigmatized (suicide), relationship is seen as insignificant (pet), relationship is stigmatized by society (same sex), loss in not a death (dementia).
- Complicated Grief: A grief reaction or feelings of loss that are debilitating, long lasting, and/or impair your ability to engage in daily activities. It may be considered to be the grief response coupled with a mental health issue such as depression or anxiety.
- Cumulative Grief: When one’s experiences a second loss while still grieving a first loss. This is sometimes referred to as “bereavement overload” or “grief overload”.
- Traumatic Grief: Normal grief response coupled with traumatic distress suffered as a result of a loved one dying in a way perceived to be frightening, unexpected, violent and/or traumatic. Typically the distress felt may be enough to impair daily functioning.
Chronic Grief * Delayed Grief * Prolonged Grief * Exaggerated Grief * Masked Grief * Collective Grief * Ambiguous Grief * Inhibited Grief * Abbreviated Grief * Absent Grief
How We Serve:
Rebecca Daum, Grief & Bereavement Companion, Thana Doula, and Palliative Care PSW, and Lori Goldblatt, Life-Cycle Celebrant, Thana Doula, and Reiki Teacher are dedicated to the offering of this Companioning philosophy so people can feel supported during one of the most vulnerable times in their lives. The comprehensive and deeply compassionate support we offer companions people as they move through their end of life experience, as well as for their families, friends and caregivers. Integrating mindfulness-based tools, Rebecca and Lori are honoured to create a safe and loving space for people to be seen, heard, and empowered in whatever life transition they may be experiencing.