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Bereavement support: Trips like this bring people together.

Every year, we offer those currently receiving bereavement support the chance to have a special day out with our team. Here, Sue Spong discusses the most recent trip and the importance of days out like these...
Bereavement service trip to Lee Valley
Last Wednesday saw the annual trip for the bereavement service, a wonderful chance to bring together those people who have attended either one of our bereavement groups or our walking group.     

This year we had a lovely 2 Ĺ hour cruise on the river Lee, the sun shone and the scenery was charming. Following our cruise, we walked to the nearest caf√© and sat drinking tea and eating ice-cream.   

Trips like this are such an important part of what we do, it brings people together when their whole world has been turned upside down and is an opportunity for them to meet those in a similar situation, talk about and remember their special person, there is a real feeling of belonging.  

The view from the Lee Valley cruise  The view from the Lee Valley cruise

Loneliness often follows a bereavement and within our groups I try to encourage people to connect with one another, the sharing of thoughts and feelings allows the grief to be normalised and feelings of isolation are lessened.     

I have always believed exercise and using our senses is a great antidote to loneliness, just being outdoors using all your senses can really encourage feelings of well-being. Our trip had all of those qualities, the sound of the water and the music, the view of the river, its wildlife and those beautiful riverside houses, the smell of the water and lunch and the feeling of belonging to a very precious group of people. 

I am so proud to work in such a supportive family support team, I feel so privileged to be a counsellor in such a special place that is Saint Francis Hospice. When I counsel patients at their end of life they are reassured to know that their family, friends or indeed anyone known to them will be supported by us when they die - I know this gives many patients great comfort.     
 
I have received some lovely responses to the day which I would like to share with you...    
"Thoroughly enjoyed the day."         
"Thank you all for your hard work in organising a lovely day on Wednesday...it was really enjoyable."  
"What a wonderful day we had on our boat trip at Broxbourne, I am sure we all felt relaxed and away from our everyday thoughts." 

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