Bereavement Support

Bereavement Support

St. Mary's Adult Bereavement Support Group

The death of a loved one may be overwhelming, especially in the days and months following. Meeting with others who have experienced a recent death in the family can be a means of comfort, solace and understanding. We invite you to consider attending one of our group sessions. The groups are facilitated by a hospital chaplain at Vesper Hall in Blue Springs.

Groups are scheduled four times throughout the year in eight week sessions. Registration is preferred. There is no fee. For further information, contact St. Mary's Medical Center Spiritual Care Department
at 816-655-5490.

Feminine and Masculine Styles of Grief
Grief energy is converted into emotional, cognitive, physical and spiritual domains of human experience. How much energy is converted into the various domains varies among individuals and situations. The expression of the inner grief experience can be quite varied. Crying, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite or searching behaviors are common expressions of grief. Other observable behaviors might include restless overactivity, social withdrawal or a loss of interest in activities.

The emotional and cognitive modalities of the grief experience are most useful in discriminating between masculine and feminine grief. These modalities might best be viewed as lying along a continuum. The feminine griever typically invests more energy toward the emotional end of the continuum, while the masculine griever allocates more energy toward the cognitive.

Your style of grief may or may not directly correspond with your gender. Thus, some women may exhibit a more masculine or cognitive style of grief, and some men may exhibit more emotion than cognition while they are grieving.

Effective Adaptive Strategies for Feminine Style Grievers:

  • Joining support groups
  • Identifying others in your environment as sources of support and understanding
  • Allowing time for fully experiencing inner pain
  • Openly expressing feelings
  • Temporarily withdrawing from, or limiting, obligations that might interfere with your ability to experience and express your feelings
  • Choosing other mediums for the expression of feelings (i.e. keeping a journal, bibliotherapy)

Effective Adaptive Strategies for Masculine Style Grievers:

  • Shelving thoughts and feelings in order to meet obligations
  • Choosing active means of expressing grief (ie: physical exercise, competitive sports, hobbies, creating a memorial)
  • Using humor or other ways of expressing feelings (but managing anger and aggression)
  • Seeking companionship (in lieu of support)
  • Using solitude as a way of reflection, adaptation
  • Bibliotherapy, maintaining a journal

The key point is that you choose an adaptive strategy that works for you; don't let others choose them for you.