Calvert Hospice Offers Virtual Grief Support

  • Calvert County
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PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. - COVID-19 restrictions make the experience of losing a loved one even harder to deal with. Calvert Hospice is working hard to help families work through the grieving process by utilizing technology.

COVID restrictions have prevented people from being with loved ones as they died and also curtailed or postponed funeral services.

Amy Szatanek is the Director of Patient & Family Services at Calvert Hospice. She explained how COVID has disrupted the tradition grieving process. “These times have been difficult for patients and families for sure. Historically, people have utilized funerals and services as a way to formally say goodbye to a loved one.

During COVID-19, people have had to get creative in how they honor and memorialize their loved ones. Some people are choosing to delay services or have a much smaller service, according to accepted guidelines. I do believe that all of these changes have affected people’s ability to process their grief, especially if they were not able to be with their loved one when they died.”

Important To Make Connections

Szatankek said it’s important that grieving families to make connections with others.

“It is vitally important that people have the opportunity to connect with others who are also experiencing losses in order to find hope and healing. Many times, as people are grieving, they think that they will never feel normal again or believe that no one else understands what they are going through.

By connecting with a group, people are able to relate to others who may be in different stages of their grief journey and be able to recognize that others truly understand their pain. Further, being able to help someone else in their journey is always a good thing.”

Virtual Groups Well-Received

Calvert Hospice traditionally provides in-person support meetings. However, COVID changed all that. Szatankek explained her organization turned to virtual groups. “We offer two adult groups monthly and two child/teen groups monthly.

Due to the success of these efforts, Calvert Hospice will also offer a Holiday Loss group and a six-week Spousal Loss group. Szatankek said a summer Spousal Loss Group was very successful. “We are also offering virtual support to individuals that have been affiliated with hospice services and community members that are in need of bereavement support.”

The virtual meetings have been so well-received Szatankek expects the organization to continue with them even after COVID restrictions are lifted. “Calvert Hospice will continue to offer groups virtually, even when in person meetings are permitted. Most likely, we will offer a hybrid model of both in person and virtual support.”

She said anyone who wished to participate in a virtual meeting can call the main office at 410-535-0892 or visit the website at Virtual meetings are offered via Zoom.

Holiday & Spousal Grief Support

Here are some details on the upcoming spousal and holiday grief support options:

Gone Without Me is a grief support program for spousal loss, a 6-week program that will focus on learning to live again after the loss of a spouse. Sessions will be held virtually via Zoom on Thursdays starting October 8 from 4:30 – 6:00 pm. There is a $50 supply fee for this program, but scholarships are available.

The program will help participants learn coping skills to deal with grief after the loss of a spouse, develop a support system with others who share similar experiences, and learn about healthy grieving. Participants will also learn some of the factors that make spousal loss unique.

Grieving Through the Holidays is a 4-week program for anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one and would like some additional support through the upcoming holiday season. Sessions will be held virtually via Zoom on Wednesdays starting November 11 from 4:30 – 6:00 pm.

The group will meet November 11 and 18 and December 2 and 9 due to the Thanksgiving holiday. There is a $40 supply fee for this program, but scholarships are available. The program will help participants get through the holidays while grieving, learn coping skills, learn to understand their limitations and manage expectations, and learn to set boundaries with friends and family.

To learn more about these programs or to register, contact Trina Goffe at (410) 535-0892, ext. 2204 or Visit our website to download the registration form or register and pay online:

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