Grief is normal. Grief is a natural response to loss. Grief is a process we must work through. At first you may feel shock and numbness. Shock acts as a buffer, allowing you to get done what needs to be done the first few months after a loss. As reality begins to settle in, the grief can affect people emotionally, physically, behaviorally, spiritually and/or psychologically. You may find yourself angry, even enraged over what has happened. You may suffer headaches, or be unable to sleep. You may sense the presence of your loved one. Grief can manifest feelings of guilt, depression, loneliness, etc. Some of these reactions may be so intense people can think they are going crazy. This is why it is important to learn about the process of grief so that you know and understand that what you are experiencing is a normal and natural response to your loss.
Caring assistance - The services offered by the Farmer & Sons Funeral Homes do not end after the funeral. The funeral directors and our aftercare coordinator are committed to continue to provide comfort and care to family and friends following the death of someone loved.
Grief counseling - Individual grief counseling is available for families. Nancy Thornton ms,lsw, our aftercare coordinator, is available to meet each family the funeral home serves. As a gentle presence, she offers assistance to family and friends in a caring and compassionate way. The funeral directors and aftercare coordinator work together, listening to the concerns of family members and friends, offering suggestions on reading material appropriate to the loss. Being available to provide answers to questions and to alleviate any concerns.
Caring for children in times of loss. With the family’s permission, one of our funeral directors will meet individually with children before or after the funeral services to answer any of their questions and/or support their needs at the time. Our aftercare coordinator can also give the family local resources available for bereaved children.
Library - We maintain a lending library of books for adults, teens and children at the merrimack valley hospice house in haverhill. Subjects include coping with grief, explaining death to children, dealing with issues surrounding suicide and facing special days and holidays.
Newsletter - Grief is a process that changes as the months pass. Mourning matters, our quarterly newsletter, is sent to friends and family as well as local clergy and clinicians, offering the reader helpful information on the grieving process and updating them on supportive and educational program on grief and loss and other resources available to them in the community. To receive this newsletter please call Nancy at 978-374-9257.
Coping with special days and holidays loss is difficult to cope with anytime during the year but especially so during the holidays or any special day of the year. We offer programs in november to share information on how families cope with the anticipation of the holiday season. During may and June we offer supportive and educational programs that focus on issues surrounding Mother's Day and Father's Day.
Educational Programs on Grief and Loss - We live in a death denying society. Very few people are interested in knowing more about grief and loss until it happens to them. One of our goals is to educate adults and children on issues surrounding death and dying so they will be better prepared to handle the death of a friend or loved one.
For the past 25 years the Farmer & Sons aftercare has been (and continues to be) a resource to area schools, churches, and organizations in our community. If you would like one of our funeral directors or our aftercare coordinator to speak at your organization we invite you to call (978) 374-9257 or email us.
One-on-one counseling - Nancy Thornton is available for short term grief counseling. For those who are homebound, Nancy is available to meet with you in your home. Please call Nancy to set up an appointment or for updated information on the programs offered by the Farmer & Sons Aftercare 978-374-9257 or email us.
Farmer & Sons Aftercare and Merrimack Valley Hospice are co-sponsoring the following supportive programs on grief and loss:
Whenever grieving persons take the time to understand why they feel the way they do, they usually begin to learn how to cope with their grief. It's important to normalize what people experience and to lessen feelings of loneliness and being misunderstood by friends and family members. That's why we offer supportive programs to teach basic concepts to those in need.
An On-Going Supportive Program for Senior Widows and Widowers (Second Phase)
Wednesday morning 10:30-12 noon March 8 – June 28 2017 this group will meet at the Hospice House only on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at the Merrimack Valley Hospice House 360 North Avenue Haverhill, MA.
Grief to Growth... One Stitch at a Time
Please join us for a craft focused bereavement support program. Bring your knitting, crocheting or needlepoint project Wednesday's 1-3 pm Merrimack Valley Hospice House - 360 North Avenue, Haverhill, MA.
Grief Support for the Loss of an Adult Child For Parents and Grandparents
1st and 3rd Tuesday afternoons 2-3:30pm February 7 – June 20, 2017 Merrimack Valley Hospice House, 360 North Avenue, Haverhill.
Please call Nancy Thornton 978-374-9257 to pre-register and/or for more information on the above programs.
Winter-Spring 2017 Bereavement support groups sponsored by Merrimack Valley Hospice:
The Grief Journeyat theHoly Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley,
Monday afternoon1:30-3 PM February 6 – June 26, 2017 140 Lincoln Avenue, (Atrium) Haverhill, MA. For information and to register call 978-552-4128
The Grief Journey at the Chelmsford Senior Center,
Monday evenings 6-7:30pm March 6 – June 26, 2017 - 75 Groton Road, Chelmsford, MA. For information and to pre-register call 978-552-4128
The Grief Journey at the Andover Senior Center 36 Bartlett Street, Andover, MA
1st Thursday of the month February 2 - June 1, 2017. For information and to register call 978-552-4537
Learning to Live with Loss
1st and 3rd Wednesdays 5-6:30 pm February 1 – June 28, 2017 Merrimack Valley Hospice - 360 Merrimack St, Building 9, Lawrence, MA For information and to register call 978-552-4510.
Men’s Grief Support Group
The 2nd and 4th Tuesday afternoons February 14 – June 27, 2017 Merrimack Valley Hospice House 360 North Avenue, Haverhill. For information and to register call 978-552-4510.
Beginning the Grief Journey
Co-sponsored with Amesbury Council on Aging Wednesday mornings 10-11 am February 15 – June 21, 2017 Amesbury Council on Aging Senior Center 68 Elm Street, Amesbury, MA. For information and to register call 978-552-4537
Young Widows and Widowers (under age 60)
1st and 3rd Thursday evenings 6-7:30 pm February 2 – June 15, 2017 Merrimack Valley Hospice House 360 North Avenue, Haverhill, MA. For information and to register call 978-552-4128
PROGRAMS FOR KIDS, TEENS AND YOUNG ADULTS
Pizza and… for kids ages 6-16 years old 3rd Thursday of the month 5:30-7:30pm beginning February 16, 2017 Merrimack Valley Hospice, Riverwalk Properties, 360 Merrimack Street, Bldg 9, Lawrence, MA. For information and to register call 978-552-4510
Young Adult Grief Workshop Individuals (ages 17-25 years of age who have experienced loss)
For information on future sessions please call 978-552-4510
Loss Due to Substance Abuse
Beginning on February 7 – June 20, 2017… new program to meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays from 6-7:30pm at the Merrimack Valley Hospice House, 360 North Avenue Haverhill, MA. For information and to register call 978-552-4537