Losing a loved one who has died can be an emotionally challenging and unfamiliar experience. Many people do not know where to begin to find help in coping with loss.
The Chaplaincy Department of Memorial Hermann Health System has gathered the following resources to help support people in Houston, Texas, and the surrounding communities. We hope that you and your loved ones will find these resources to be helpful at your time of loss.
"What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us."
Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center invites you to join us for a Virtual Time of Remembrance Service to honor the memory of your loved ones.
"Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The second is the remaking of life."
Grieving the loss of a loved one during the Covid-19 pandemic can present many unique challenges for bereaved individuals. Many people may have not been able to see their loved ones before they died due to safety precautions. The death may have been sudden or unexpected. Some families have had multiple members infected and even suffered multiple deaths. In addition to losing loved ones, one may be coping with the stress of having one's life upended by the pandemic in many ways.
Grief is not limited to the death of a loved one. Our greater Houston community, our state, country, and our world are going through a global crisis. This crisis has impacted the physical, mental, and spiritual health, as well as to the safety and economic security, of so many. A crisis such as this can provoke grief as well as trauma for many individuals.
You may be grieving the loss of a job, or struggling with loneliness at not being able to visit with family or friends. You may be having to adapt to working from home, are working under new safety precautions, or have lost a job. You may be struggling with child care or be concerned about your child’s schooling. You may be grieving how life was for you before this crisis.
The multiple stresses of life right now might be compounded and feel unmanageable. It is important to seek support for one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being during the pandemic.
We hope the resources on this page may be of support to you and your loved ones.
"And when great souls die, after a period, peace blooms, slowly and irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed."
Many families often have questions about how to best support children and adolescents experiencing grief and loss. There are numerous resources available to support children, adolescents and their families coping with grief. The websites and resources below may offer a good starting place:
"The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to."
Gathering with other bereaved individuals who are coping with the death of a loved one can be a source of support and encouragement as one navigates the grief process. Many local faith communities and community centers offer free grief support groups. As these groups frequently change, you may want to reach out to your faith community and local organizations to inquire about active groups. Increasingly, these groups are moving online to provide safe social distancing during the pandemic.
Memorial Hermann Hospice is currently hosting a free virtual support group for adults. Contact Memorial Hermann Hospice at: (713) 338-7400 for more information, or to sign up.
Support groups for children, adolescents, families and adults are also available free of charge at Bo’s Place. Support is available in English as well as Spanish. You can also reach out to Bo’s Place’s referral line at (713) 942-8339, or click here to find out more. Groups are being held virtually at this time.
For many individuals, one-on-one grief counseling support can be an essential component of the healing process. If your employer or school has counseling support available, you may want to reach out to find out more about what counseling may be offered for free. You may also contact your insurance company to inquire if counseling services are covered and to obtain a list of in-network therapists.
The Psychology Today website is another resource where you can search for counselors in your area by various criteria including specialization (such as “grief counseling” or “bereavement counseling”). Bo’s Place can also provide a list of grief counselors who provide services on a sliding scale per request through their referral line at (713) 942-8339.
Memorial Hermann Employees can access grief support counseling through the Employee Assistance Program or the Wellness Team. More information on these programs can be accessed through OneSource.
Grief is an ongoing process. While some may feel an expectation to "get over" a loss quickly, most people find that it takes time to heal. It may take more time than we ever imagined. There may be ups and downs. Everyone experiences grief differently, and being compassionate to yourself and others going through grief can be beneficial. It could be months or even years before you begin to feel more like yourself again after a difficult loss. As you navigate coping with the pain of loss, you may find it helpful to have the support of friends, loved ones, counselors and support groups. We hope these resources are a comfort to you and your loved ones as you begin the healing process.