Our Aftercare Program

Five Generations of Service

Farmer & Sons aftercare is a not for profit program open to anyone in the community who has experienced the loss of a loved one.

Grief is a natural process of healing. Our holiday aftercare program can help.


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Grief is personal. We all grieve in our own unique way, even when we experience the death of the same person. Family and friends each express their love differently, so it is natural for them to grieve the loss of a loved one differently as well. This is why it is important to be understanding of others who mourn the loss of someone.

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.


Loss of a Spouse/Partner Group (for ages 55 and over)

High Pointe Hospice House

Every Wednesday morning 10:30-12 noon thru June 19, 2019 at the High Pointe Hospice House 360 North Ave. Haverhill, MA.

Grief to Growth... One Stitch at a Time

Plaistow Public Library

Please join us for a craft focused bereavement support program. Bring your knitting, crocheting or needlepoint project Wednesday's 1-3 pm thru June 19, 2019 at the Plaistow Public Library, 85 Main St. Plaistow, NH 03865.

Grief Support for the Loss of an Adult Child (for Parents and Grandparents)

High Pointe Hospice House

1st and 3rd Tuesday afternoons 2-3:30pm; High Pointe Hospice House, 360 North Avenue, Haverhill.

Grief Support for Living with Loss

High Pointe House

2nd & 4th Sundays, 3:00 - 4:30 pm, Jan. 13th thru June 9th; 360 North Ave. Haverhill, MA.

Please call Nancy Thornton 978-374-9257 to pre-register and/or for more information on the above programs.


Bereavement support groups sponsored by Merrimack Valley Hospice:



Andover Senior Center

1st Thursday of the month 1:30-3:00 pm. For information and to register call 978-552-4510

Billerica Senior Center

2nd and 4th Wednesday 11:00 am - 12:30 pm from Feb. 14th - June 26, 2019; 25 Concord Rd. Billerica, MA. For information and to register call 978-552-4510

Chelmsford Senior Center

2nd and 4th Mondays 6-7:30 pm from Feb. 5th - Dec. 17, 2019; 75 Groton Rd. N. Chelmsford, MA. For information and to register call 978-552-4510

Merrimack Valley Hospice

Every Wednesday 5-6:30 pm from Feb. 6th thru June 26, 2019; 360 Merrimack St. Bldg.9 Lawrence, MA. For information and to register call 978-552-4510


Grief Support for loss of spouse... Second Steps

High Pointe Hospice House

2nd Tuesday 10:30-12:00 pm for info call 978-552-4510.



Grief Support for Loss of Spouse/Partner

High Pointe Hospice House

Thursdays 6-7:30 pm Jan. 17th thru June 27th, 2019; High Pointe Hospice House 360 North Ave. Haverhill, MA. For information and to register call 977-552-4128


Pizza and...(a grief support group for children ages 6-15)

Merrimack Valley Hospice

2nd Thursday of the month 5:30-7:30 pm Sept. 13, 2018  thru June 13, 2019; Merrimack Valley Hospice 360 Merrimack St. Building 9, Lawrence, MA. For information and to register call 978-552-4510

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