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People cope with the loss of a loved one in different ways. There are many things that can affect the grief process of someone who has lost a loved one to cancer such as:
- The personality of the person who is grieving.
- The relationship with the person who died.
- The loved one's cancer experience and the way the disease progressed.
- The grieving person’s coping skills and mental health history.
- The amount of support the grieving person has.
- The grieving person’s cultural and religious background.
- The grieving person’s social and financial position.
Grief is the normal process of reacting to the loss. Mourning is the way we show grief in public. The way people mourn is affected by beliefs, religious practices, and cultural customs.
Ridley-Tree Cancer Center Oncology Social Workers are available to help family members and caregivers who are coping with the loss of a loved one. Several community resources are available as well. Please see the resources listed below for more information.
Source: National Cancer Institute - Grief, Bereavement, and Coping With Loss
Cancer.net: Grief and Loss
General information about coping with grief and loss as well as helping grieving children and teens, grieving the loss of a sibling, grieving the loss of a child, and understanding grief within a cultural context.
CancerCare.org: Grief and Loss
Online support groups, podcasts, and easy to read fact sheets.
In addition to providing bereavement support, VNA Health provides a wide variety of services including skilled nursing care, in-home rehabilitation therapy, palliative care, hospice care.
Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc.
A nonprofit organization that provides free compassionate care to people within the community experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness or grieving the death of a loved one.
Oncology Social Work Services and Counseling
Cancer can involve significant psychological, social, and economic challenges for patients and their families. How and if these challenges are addressed is an important aspect of a patient’s care plan. The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center employs clinical social workers who provide emotional and practical support for patients, their families, and their friends. Oncology Social Workers can provide advocacy and referrals as well as individual and family counseling services.
Services are available at no cost and are available to anyone in our community, regardless of where they are receiving medical care.
For more information, call (805) 879-5690.
Materials at the Cancer Resource Library
The Five Ways We Grieve: Finding Your Personal Path to Healing After the Loss of a Loved One by
Publication Date: 2009
I Wasn't Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping & Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One by
Publication Date: 2008
How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies by
Publication Date: 1991
Remembering with Love: Messages of Hope for the First Year of Grieving and Beyond by
Publication Date: 1996
A Meditation to Ease Grief by
Publication Date: 1992
Living with Loss, One Day at Time by
Publication Date: 2013
On Grief and Grieving by
Publication Date: 2014