The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for health care workers to have more resources available for people who are grieving. It is especially important for those who have experienced the sudden death of a loved one from an accident, COVID-19 or other illness to receive compassionate support at the time of death.
The Lewis family recognizes how important this support can be. In honor of their infant son, Wesley, they have begun working on a website www.griefpacket.com that will list a great variety of resources. The home page is an introduction to grief and what to expect. This one page handout can be used by health care providers in a variety of settings when their hospital, nursing facility or agency does not have their own grief packet.
Grief support is an integral part of hospice care and resources are often also available to the community. However, many health care workers are not trained or equipped to support the newly bereaved. When interviewed by USA Today, David Kessler said: “(Health care workers are) always second-guessing themselves, wondering if they could do more. Nurses and doctors are seeing multiple deaths in a day, and they’re sitting with the anguish of the families. No-one has been trained for this much death.”
Kessler, who is a renowned grief expert, has a website www.grief.com and this includes many helpful resources. His book “Finding Meaning: the Sixth Stage of Grief” has helped many people transform their grief experience. It has been called a ‘vital guide to healing from tremendous loss.’ There are so many great books and websites like this as well as podcasts, and organizations available to help people who are grieving. It will be very helpful to have a website that curates all this information for the bereaved and for health care workers on the front lines dealing with a sudden death. Our sincere thanks to the Lewis family for sharing this news about the one page resource and their plans for the website.