Feminine Side of Grief Lesson Three Professional Track Learning Guide

Feminine Side of Grief Series

Professional Group Track Learning Guide

Lesson Three: To Tend & Befriend

Directions:

-The first step is ACT ONE. This interactive form section will give you an opportunity to delve deeply into the concepts behind our lesson and reflect on how they connect to your life and your role as caregiver. A critical element for the success of an ACT Learning Group is to provide some time and space for personal reflection and journaling.

-After completing this step, ACT TWO is a period of group discussion and reflection. All participants must be given a safe space to express themselves during this time. This portion of the interactive form is filled out with insights gained from your community exploration.

-Next, your group will move on to ACT THREE, the Best Practicesreal-world habits, ways of thinking, or behaving that can increase personal well-being. Goals to incorporate best practice suggestions can be made on the group or individual level and support systems can be developed during this time.

ACT Step One: Individual Reflection

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Two: Group Discussion

1. “[Research has stated] that just as it takes a village to raise a child, so too does it take a village to care for someone who is dying. Not often recognized is that perhaps it also takes a village to support someone who is grieving an impactful loss…” – “What is Normal Anyway? Exploring the Effect of Social Norms on Grief Expectations, Expressions, and Social Support

2. “It appears that informal social support is most valued as helpful: the emotional bonds (attachment), the practical assistance (tangible alliance) and the perceived sense of belonging (social integration) provided by the existing networks of family and friends are of primary importance.” – “Matching response to need: What makes social networks fit for providing bereavement support?”

3. “. . . bereaved individuals should be valued for their insight, experience, and expertise which may be translated through peer support to other people grieving a similar loss.” - What is Normal Anyway? Exploring the Effect of Social Norms on Grief Expectations, Expressions, and Social Support

4. “Many bereaved people . . . required more than a simple verbal platitude (e.g., "I'm sorry"), but rather needed others to be alongside them in their grief, remaining present without expectation, advice, or judgment.” -“What is Normal Anyway? Exploring the Effect of Social Norms on Grief Expectations, Expressions, and Social Support

Completed forms may be printed out by pressing CTRL button + P (Windows) or CMD button + P (Mac).

By submitting this form you are agreeing to contribute to our national research project. All information will be used anonymously.

ACT Step Three: Best Practices – (Choose at Least One)

1. As care providers, do you have a circle of support? If you were to create one, who would be in it? And how would you receive help? Consider the possibility of having circles of support in other areas of your community life.” –Soul & Science Lesson

List those in your circle of support. Look at how you can add to those types of resources. Make a goal to expand your circle of support.

2. “Some participants thought that the ideal time to receive support is not immediately after bereavement but later in the process. Some of the types of support that were helpful at a later timeframe were: Social support from friends, family, work colleagues and the community to alleviate continuing loneliness and isolation and to have the opportunity to talk about the deceased after the initial bereavement. . .”-Matching response to need: What makes social networks fit for providing bereavement support?”

Think of someone you know professionally or socially that maybe later in the bereavement process. Reach out and offer support to alleviate loneliness or honor the memory of the loved one that has died.

3. “Often, when a co-worker returns to work after the death of a loved one, we don’t know what to say—so we don’t say anything. But staying silent can make the grieving co-worker feel isolated.” – Lisa Rabasca Roepe 

When supporting a co-worker who has experienced loss. follow the advice by Lisa Rabasca Reope in the SHRM article “How to Support Employees Through Grief and Loss

-Show empathy.

“I’m glad you are back, and we’re here for you.” 

“We can’t change what happened, but if there is anything we can do to make your life easier, know that we are all here for you.”

-Acknowledge that grief is ongoing. 

“How are you today?” is better than “How are you?” Grant says because it allows people to answer honestly beyond just responding, “I’m fine.”

-Show up with a specific offer. But make it clear that it’s OK if the person wants to decline. 

“I’m in the lobby if you want to talk. I will be here for the next hour whether you come down or not.”

-Take your cues from the griever. 

“I’d love to hear more about your loved one whenever that might be convenient for you. I want to respect your privacy.” 

Closing Thought

 “tzarot rabim chatzi nechama”

“A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved.” 

-Jewish Tradition (Sefer Hachinuch, Mitzvah 331)

Additional Resources