Last month, Hospice Peterborough launched an innovate grief support program that helps people experiencing grief over the loss of a loved one move forward, both physically and figuratively.
Walking with Grief is a support program where people meet to walk and share their grief with others in a similar situation. Hospice staff and volunteer grief companions are there to offer silent support or words of comfort, and encourage participants to connect with each other to share their grief while walking.
This new program has evolved in response to loosening Covid restrictions which had severely reduced the opportunity for in-person support. This is not a fitness group: the movement of walking can be both a distraction and a therapy for participants who set their own pace. Sharing painful feelings and memories about the loss of a loved one while walking can feel less intrusive than other group discussions environments as the participants are looking ahead as they walk instead of facing each other. As in all hospice programs, participation is free of charge.
The program takes place on the walking track inside the community centre, which offers space to walk or move without having to worry about icy sidewalk or trail conditions. It is accessible for those using mobility aides. As the weather improves, the program will likely move outdoors. The group meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month from 2-3 pm at the Community Centre located at 986 County Rd. 10. This is the first program of its kind offered by Hospice Peterborough, and our facility offers an ideal setting with quiet, comfortable and safe conditions in any kind of weather.
Hospice Peterborough has been offering support to individuals and families living with or affected by life-threatening illness and grief since 1988. With a team of trained staff and volunteers, they deliver services guided by a philosophy of compassion, respect and autonomy to residents of all ages across the Peterborough City and County. Among these services are home support, day hospice, caregiver support, grief groups, family support and wellness programing. They also operate a ten-bed hospice residence in Peterborough offering end of life care which has become a central hub for the delivery of hospice palliative care.
Anyone who could benefit from this unobtrusive form of support while grieving the loss of a loved one might appreciate the opportunity to share their grief while walking. Program Co-ordinator Amy Watson asks that participants confirm a spot with the group to allow Hospice to arrange adequate volunteer support. To register, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 705-742-4042 ext. 251. KG