There comes a time when all of us find ourselves confronted with grief. Grief comes in different forms and impacts each of us in a unique way. Some of us experience anticipatory grief. We have the opportunity to deal with an upcoming loss but aren’t sure how to manage what we are feeling. We may still be consumed in grief over the loss of a loved one.
The Sundre Palliative Care Association was pleased to welcome Rick Bergh to present a day long workshop on Grief. Rick has personal experience as well as years of listening and talking with those who are in the midst of their grief. He helped us to understand what we are experiencing and provided us with simple but effective tools to help manage it. Rick is a narrative speaker and uses stories to help give insight.
Another segment of the workshop was a presentation by Erica Phare-Bergh who works with the Voices in Motion choir. Her work is creating a place for those people with Alzheimer’s disease to express themselves through music by singing in her choir. We heard of the amazing power that music has for those who are unable to communicate in the way they used to.
The workshop was held on Monday, May 7 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Sundre Arts Centre. We had a group of 43 individuals who joined with us to learn about grief. There were tears and hugs while we thought of our own situations of grief. Rick was able to provide a place of understanding. We felt accepted with the grief we were experiencing. We learned why grief washes over us again and again. And most importantly, we were given simple sentences to say to others that will make grief possible to manage and even grow from. One participant who drove from Drayton Valley said, ‘I would have driven ten times as far to come to this workshop. It was fantastic’.
National Palliative Care Week is May 7-11 and we celebrate all that is happening in our community around conversations about end-of-life care, serious illness conversations, and the possibility of staying in the place you live in to die. The Sundre Palliative Care Association is committed to bringing information and support to the community to help understand and meet the process of preparing to live the rest of your life well when faced with impending death. We continue to ask for your suggestions about topics you would like us to present. Let us know and we will do our best to bring the information to you!
Diana Kleinloog has worked as an RN in rural health care