One of the many fee-based programs I wrote and taught over the years is entitled, How to Understand Grief Seminars, better known as the HUGS program. Workshops varied in length from 1.5 to 4 hours depending on the client’s wishes. I developed the program in the early 1990’s because I saw a need as a funeral professional to offer help and vital information to adults, adolescents, and teens who were trying to cope with grief following the death of a loved one or friend. Back then, we had few resources to share with our families; they were left on their own to struggle with the many emotions and feelings that accompany grief.

Although the majority of our discussions will center on the death of a loved one, the information will be applicable to many different types of loss: divorce, job loss,  loss of health, disabling injury, promotions, retirement, addition recovery, financial problems. The list is endless.

You will be able to take the information you glean here and apply it to your life experiences that have caused you grief, sorrow, anger, guilt.

Because time is not a factor here as it is in a training workshop, I will be able to expand all of my topics.  I will share good resources that are beneficial in healing grief: books, websites and blogs of interest, videos, and perhaps a “guest lecturer”.  May I suggest that you keep a journal to record your thoughts and the insight you gained from each lesson.

Peggy Sweeney
Bereavement Educator/Course Instructor

A note from one of our students:
“Thank you for the course you offer helping the bereaved cope with loss! Yesterday I started thinking about an Armenian lady who truly showed wisdom and compassion at a time when my nephew’s death,possible suicide, seemed to much to bear.This lady was a kindergarten teacher who had grown up in Erevan, Armenia and had settled in Germany only recently. We were not close, only acquaintances, but she was a wonderful listener. When I called her to tell her my nephew had died in a car accident, that it may have been suicide, she was so understanding. She just started to tell me stories – about how she lost her grandmother, who had raised her, and had gotten drunk at the grandmother`s funeral (quite a scandal in Armenian society!), about how heartbroken her sister in Erevan was when their father died and how she gave his fine clothes to a beggar in the street; about a friend`s husband, who died unexpectedly , a freak accident, while picking apples in their orchard he fell off the ladder.Somehow hearing how all these tragedies happened to people in all kinds of circumstances, how they coped in all kinds of ways, that they wished they could have saved their loved one but could not have, and truly were not to be faulted; this was such a comfort”. Hope this helps someone. Cathy

A note from one of our students:
It’s nice to look at many different perspectives .I am personally still grieving very badly, as I was very close to my daughter who was 21 and killed in car accident.

I’m dealing with a lot of sadness.
I know my heart will for ever be broken even in many years to come.
I still don’t believe she is gone most days.
I find myself talking to her a lot.
I want to tell her everything and physically can’t see her or touch her.
So anyways. I will finish your grief series. Keep searching and forcing myself , as if an extension out of myself that I’m not controlling.
Such a different person I am
Very hard to have the joy I had when my daughter not here.
Thanks again, Jennifer