It’s National Grief Awareness Day on August 30 – a time to shine light on grief, support and healing.
Loss and grief can affect our whole wellbeing, from emotional stress, physical health and difficulty with sleeping, eating, concentration and other daily functioning.
Many people find support and comfort through our Suncoast Hospice bereavement counseling after their family members die in our care, or in our Empath Health Community Counseling after their loved ones die by overdoses, accidents, homicides, suicides and other sudden and traumatic deaths.
Our Creating a Healing Oasis pilot program combines our Reiki, music and aromatherapy palliative arts volunteer services with our counseling to help bring additional comfort for clients. The program is supported by grant funding from our Empath Health Women’s Giving Network.
“We started it last November and have had six clients who have consistently received Reiki. Practitioners provide a sense of deeper relaxation through their energy. Music is integrated into the sessions. The bereavement counselors determine who would most benefit from these services. It’s remarkable to see how it has impacted different people in different ways,” explained Melissa Moré, Empath Health’s director of volunteer services.
Dwight Douglass works as a Suncoast Hospice bereavement counselor doing individual counseling, support groups and workshops with clients. He has seen Reiki improve quality of life for a longtime client.
He shared, “There is a lady I have worked with a little over a year. Her daughter showed symptoms of the flu and had a rare infection in her heart, and she died in hospice care. The woman’s husband is on disability for an illness. Volunteers provide Reiki treatment for her every other Thursday. All of a sudden, she started to feel a sense of peace. It allowed her to better function in work and at home.”
Reiki is an ancient Japanese technique in which a practitioner gently touches or holds their hands over recipients’ bodies to connect with their chakras (centers where energy flows).
Kevin McCullough volunteers as a Reiki master doing sessions with Suncoast Hospice patients and families and others in care in the community. Many of our patients have reported feeling a sense of warmth, peace and relaxation from their experiences.
“There comes a time when they (hospice patients) need pain and anxiety relief. Hospice brings that presence. I show up and do what I can do, and if I need to spend three hours with a patient I’ll stay. I’ve had miraculous things happen on a daily basis,” McCullough expressed.
We are here for you
Call (727) 523-3451 to learn more and sign up for our Empath Health Community Counseling sessions.
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Click here to learn more about our volunteer opportunities and get signed up for our volunteer orientation.