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AAWGT: Over 10 years of making a difference in our community!

FEBRUARY 15, 2018 Event:

GRIEF: YOURS AND OTHERS; THE ECONOMIC AND EMOTIONAL IMPACT OF UNEXPECTED DEATH

During our February presentation, three area experts joined more than 75 AAWGT members and guests to talk about the issue of surviving sudden bereavement. Their insights helped us learn more about the variety of ways people respond to grief; ways that each of us can show comfort and reassurance to those who have experienced a loss; and about emerging national research that may spur communities to recraft their policies to better protect and uphold those faced with the upheaval that sudden loss creates.

Tawny Wilson Stitely of Annapolis described how peer support from members of Bereaved Parents of Anne Arundel County helped her learn positive ways to remember and honor her 27-year-old daughter Tori, who was lost through a car accident. Tawny advised that we must allow everyone to grieve in his or her own way and that the bereaved fare better when they plan how to spend those critical days – the birthdays, anniversary of death, and other days of significance.

Susan Coale, Director of the Chesapeake Life Center at Hospice of the Chesapeake, talked about her experiences as a social worker and noted that even someone with extensive training can sometimes say the ‘wrong’ thing.  Noting the lack of research in the US, Susan cited Swedish studies which have reported declines in economic wellbeing as high as 30% following sudden loss, which points to the need for more robust community services, especially for the economically disadvantaged.

Joyal Mulheron, Founder and Director of Evermore, a D.C. nonprofit that helps bereaved families, shared her firsthand experience of how severely parents may suffer health, social and economic challenges after the loss of a child. In recovering from the loss of her infant daughter, Joyal also learned that the siblings of the deceased child are often overlooked, and that these ‘forgotten sufferers’ need to be included in any plan for family support and comfort. Under Joyal’s leadership, Evermore is seeking to initiate regional and national studies on family issues related to death of a child, and is seeking to partner with the National Academy of Sciences.

The audience responded with examples of their own experiences, and it was the unanimous opinion of our panelists and audience that whatever you say or do, be consistent in your response to the grieving individual – if you have promised to bring a milkshake at 4:00 p.m. every Tuesday do so, whether the person closes the door on you or greets you with open arms – just be there.

Additional resources about this subject, including Tips for Talking to Bereaved Parents, can be found at:

http://www.aacounty-md-bereavedparents.org/HTML/TipsforTalking1.htm

http://www.aacounty-md-bereavedparents.org/HTML/TipsforTalking2.htm

http://www.aacounty-md-bereavedparents.org/HTML/TipsforTalking3.htmp

http://www.aacounty-md-bereavedparents.org/HTML/TipsforTalking4.htmp

Bereavement Support Services in Anne Arundel County

The Life Center
Hospice of the Chesapeake
445 Defense Hwy
Annapolis  MD  21401
410-987-2129

Provides a variety of grief support services, including support groups, individual counseling, summer camps, and specialized grief support classes and events. Specialized support groups include perinatal loss support groups, widows/widowers support groups, groups for children and for those who have lost a loved one due to suicide.  Services are provided at The Life Center office, as well as at other locations. Call for more information or visit hospicechesapeake.org/the-life-center

Baltimore Washington Medical Center
301 Hospital Drive
Glen Burnie  MD 21061

Offers bereavement support groups throughout the year, provided by The Life Center. For more information and to register, please call The Life Center at 410-987-2129. 

Bereaved Parents of the USA
Anne Arundel County Chapter Meetings are held at:
Calvery United Methodist Church
301 Rowe Blvd
Annapolis MD  21401
410-721-1359
First Thursday of the month at 7:15 PM

Provides monthly support groups, phone support, a newsletter, conferences, and special memorial programs throughout the year. Their mission is to help grieving parents and families rebuild their lives following the death of a child of any age. Parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members are welcome to participate. Call for more information or visit bereavedparentsusa.org

Miscarriage, Infant Death and Stillbirth (MIS) Support Group
Holy Cross Resource Center

Silver Spring, MD
301-681-5784
First Wednesday of the month

MIS is a support group for parents who have suffered a pregnancy loss or infant loss. MIS also runs Isaiah’s Promise, a support program for parents continuing a pregnancy after a severe or fatal diagnosis. Call for more information.

Hospice Caring
518 S. Frederick Ave
Gaithersburg  MD 20877 

A non-medical volunteer hospice in Montgomery County providing free practical and emotional support for terminally ill adults and for people grieving the death of a loved one.  Services include adult bereavement support groups and children’s bereavement programs. Call 301-869-4673 for information or email hospice@hospicecaring.org

The Compassionate Friends
Meetings are held at United Parish of Bowie
2515 Mitchelville Rd
Bowie  MD 20716
301-627-7315
Second Thursday of the month 7:00 PM

Assists families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive. The volunteer organization offers support groups, memorial services, conferences and information and referral.  Call for more information or email
janwithers123@yahoo.com

Baltimore Survivors of Suicide Support Group
Meetings held at Church of the Redeemer
5603 N. Charles Street
Baltimore MD 21210

410-435-7333 or 410-322-2000
Support Group for Survivors of Suicide 
Second and Fourth Tuesday of the month 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

A survivor facilitated support group for anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide. The organization provides support groups, information and resources, an e-newsletter and special events. Call for more information.

Center for Infant and Child Loss
University of Maryland
800-808-7437

Provides information and referrals for families who have lost an infant or child. Services include educational information, community outreach and peer support.  For more information see infantandchildloss.org

Changing Focus
1657 Crofton Pkwy
Crofton MD 21114

410-721-0992
Wednesdays at 7:00 PM


Changing Focus is an organization which provides a variety of support groups, including The Healing Journey Support Group for persons who have lost a spouse or partner. changingfocus.org

Family Bereavement Center for Baltimore City
10 North Calvert Street
Baltimore MD 21202
410-396-7351

A service of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office.  Provides counseling for adults and children who have lost a loved one from homicide. Serves residents of Baltimore City and non-residents if the homicide occurred in Baltimore City. 

GriefShare
800-395-5755

Provides grief seminars and support groups throughout the country and internationally. Call for a location near you and to register. 
griefshare.org

Calvert Hospice
255 Comet Drive
Prince Frederick  MD 20678
410-535-0892

Provides individual grief counseling, bereavement support groups and children’s grief camps for persons in Calvert County. calverthospice.org

Hospice of Queen Anne’s County
255 Comet Drive
Centerville MD 21617
443-262-4109

Provides grief management classes, children’s groups, children’s weekend camps and other support services.  Services are for residents of QA County. No fee. hospiceofqueenannes.org

Capital Caring / Capital Hospice
855-571-5700

Provides grief support groups, classes and special programs throughout D.C.  capitalcaring.org

Hospital Sponsored Bereavement Support Groups

Baltimore Washington Medical Center
General Bereavement Support Group
Group Series are scheduled throughout the year
Contact The Life Center to Register:  410-987-2003

Anne Arundel Medical Center
Prenatal Loss Support Group
First Monday of the Month
Meets at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church
4 Wallace Manor Road, Edgewater, MD
Contact Ann O’Sullivan 410-570-2164

St. Agnes Hospital
Provides information and referral to the community.
The Hope Program provides individual grief counseling to adults at no cost. 
Contact Jen at 410-368-2970 for an appointment or more information. stagnes.org

Doctor’s Community Hospital
General Bereavement Support Group
First and Third Thursdays of the month
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Contact Capital Hospice to Register:  301-883-0866

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