Coping with Loss Inservice

Earlier today, I delivered two in-service presentations for a nearby nursing home where I provide psychological services. The topic was “”Coping with Loss.”

This 80-bed facility has recently lost twenty-one residents, due to COVID-19. The impact of responding to so many deaths, within a relatively brief period of time, has been very significant.

This was not an easy topic to research, nor about which to present. So much of the material caused me to think about the death of my mother, which occurred nearly nine months ago.

I provided information about the Kubler-Ross model of grieving, as well as J. WilliamWorden’s more updated model of this challenge. I stressed that everyone experiences grief in their own unique way, that not everyone passes consecutively through the stages of grief, and that we might get stuck at a particular phase of the grieving process.

Some staff members discussed how they worked together as an effective team during this crisis. Others stated the difficulty of refraining from useful interventions, due to respecting residents’ wishes at the end of their lives.

After my presentation, I asked staff members if they wanted to share how they have been impacted by the recent loss of so many residents. Many of them shared feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of adjusting to multiple deaths within a brief period of time.

I truly felt honored to be asked to present in-services about this very important topic. I’m thankful that there’s an upcoming memorial service to honor these deeply valued residents.

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