Volunteers needed for new grief support program

By Erin Knutson

Special to The Pioneer

The Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley is currently looking for 10 volunteers to participate in an intensive 12-week peer group grief journey program, designed for bereavement support at their facility in Invermere.

Listening is the essence of our training, Hospice Society founding executive director Maria Kliavkoff told The Pioneer. The program is based on a progressive model created by Dr. Alan Wolfelt, founder of the Centre for Loss and Life Transitions in Fort Collins, Colorado who has a PhD in psychology. Dr. Wolfelt envisioned the Companioning Method to grieving and utilized a journaling system to help the bereaved understand, cope and deal with loss in a social setting.

Its really important to help the community and to support the community, said Ms. Kliavkoff. We lost a lot of people that we cherished in the past few months. Together we will explore the ten essential touchstones outlined by Dr. Wolfelt for finding hope and for healing the grieving heart.

According to Ms. Kliavkoff, supporting and listening as those who are grieving tell their story is essential in the reconciliation and healing process. When someone has lost a loved one a wife, mother, father or child we offer a step-by-step program and a place where they can share their experience with other people who get it and understand. Its important for them to know theyre not alone.

The members will meet once a week on Tuesdays starting January 20th until April 7th from 6 to 7:30 p.m. All interested parties should contact Ms. Kliavkoff at 250-688-1143, or email her at ed@hospicesocietycv.com. The Bereavement Support Group is limited to 10 participants and pre-registration is required. Please feel free to register at the Hospice office at Frater Landing, Unit 103-926 7th Avenue in downtown Invermere.

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