Kootenay hospice organizations are partnering to train volunteers on dealing with grief that is made more complex by especially difficult circumstances, such as suicide, homicide, or multiple losses within a short time period. (Photo by Kawin Harasai on Unsplash)

Kootenay hospice organizations are partnering to train volunteers on dealing with grief that is made more complex by especially difficult circumstances, such as suicide, homicide, or multiple losses within a short time period. (Photo by Kawin Harasai on Unsplash)

‘Complicated grief’ training offered by Trail hospice

Columbia Valley hospice is bringing special grief training to Trail in a two-part series

  • Jun. 8, 2018 6:00 a.m.

After a significant loss, grief is normal and necessary.

But sometimes a mourner’s grief becomes naturally heightened, stuck, or made more complex by especially difficult circumstances, such as suicide, homicide, or multiple losses within a short time period.

This is called “complicated grief.”

For the first time, locals wanting to learn more about heightened grief now have the opportunity through two courses being offered at the Kiro Wellness Centre.

The training in Trail is in two parts, and meant for anyone who works on the front line with people who suffer from complicated, traumatic, and/or suicide loss.

The first half, called “Companioning Complicated and Traumatic Grief,” will run Friday June 15 from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, June 16 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Deadline to register for the course is Friday, June 8.

Those wanting to learn more about companioning – walking with – people who are experiencing complicated grief, are encouraged to call the Greater Trail Hospice Society at 250.364.6204 or email info@trailhospice.org.

“Companioning Suicide Grief ” is the second part of training that will be held at the Kiro Wellness Centre on Friday, Sept. 14 from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

With a grant from Columbia Basin Trust (Trust), the Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley (HSCV) was able to partner with Greater Trail hospice to deliver this key training in the West Kootenay.

Based on Dr. Alan Wolfelt’s Companioning Model, these workshops are designed to help those who work with the bereaved to learn about complicated grief and how to work with it. Death and Grief Studies Certificate Graduate, Maria Kliavkoff, will facilitate the two courses, which include a binder of materials and lunch on Saturday.

Kliavkoff is Executive Director of the HSCV, located in Invermere.

The journey began several years ago when the RCMP and Victim Services in Invermere approached the HSCV to run bereavement support groups for those who have suffered from traumatic and/or suicide grief.

In an effort to meet the request, HSCV applied to the Trust for training so that Kliavkoff would have the knowledge necessary to responsibly lead such groups.

The funding was granted on the condition that upon completion of the course and approval of Dr. Wolfelt, Kliavkoff would go on to train others throughout the Basin.

To date the Trust has funded Kliavkoff to run training in Invermere, Cranbrook, Castlegar, Nelson and now Trail.

Over the past three years those who have received the training include hospice staff and volunteers, Victim Services staff and volunteers, BC Coroner Services office staff, school teachers, counsellors and nurses.