The Helping Grieving Hearts Heal program was designed to provide services that support individuals as they grieve. In conjunction with John B. Brown Funeral Home, this program is offered by Jackie Hook, M.A., a certified spiritual director, celebrant and end-of-life doula.
What is a certified spiritual director and a celebrant?
A certified spiritual director is a companion who is trained to listen deeply and attentively to your story and offer new perspectives to your experiences, all while encouraging you to reflect on your own spiritual life. Spiritual direction provides a hope-filled place where you are supported to make your own decisions and choices as you open to new insights and inspiration. Jackie is not a therapist, but instead someone to help you look at things from the spiritual perspective, that place of meaning and purpose. Spiritual direction is a relationship more than a program or a method.
A certified celebrant is someone trained to create and officiate at personalized and meaningful ceremonies. Jackie can work with you to create a unique service that reflects your loved one’s background and values – both religious and non-religious. A celebrant service celebrates a life, honors a death and supports the bereaved.
As a spiritual director and celebrant, Jackie can companion you on your grief journey and help you create an experience that helps you both honor your loved one and start to heal.
What is an end-of-life doula?
An end-of-life doula is a companion to a dying person and their loved ones. This work is about bringing deep meaning and sacredness to dying. This is done through: encouraging life review and legacy work; creating a plan for the final days; offering respite for the primary caregivers; providing opportunities for processing some of the experiences; and, supporting the early grief journey.
Through the Helping Grieving Hearts Heal program, Jackie offers:
Have the Talk of a Lifetime
One conversation that is so important to have but is sometimes difficult to initiate with family members concerns how you want to be remembered. Such a conversation can actually help you: live your life more fully now, prepare you for your death, and make decisions that need to be made as you age. Jackie is available to meet with individuals to Have the Talk of a Lifetime and help document this important information.
Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.
- Hannah Arendt
Grieving is a spiritual process. When you grieve the window to your soul is open. As a spiritual director, Jackie can welcome your soul and companion you on your grief journey to healing by:
• Helping you understand that grief is not an illness; it is a healthy response to a loss.
• Creating a safe space for you to tell your story and look for meaning and purpose in your experience.
• Providing you with information about the journey through grief.
• Listening to, supporting, comforting and encouraging you as you address the needs of mourning.
One often calms one’s grief by recounting it.
- Pierre Corneille
Memorable Funeral Ceremony Creation
Funerals and memorial services are times to embrace the memory of a loved one in a supportive environment. They are also one of the first important stages of grieving for family and friends. This experience honors and celebrates the life of someone who has died while providing comfort for those left behind. As both a spiritual director and celebrant, Jackie is present to your pain and listens deeply to you through this process of preparing a memorable funeral ceremony.
These provided services include:
• Meeting with the family, providing support and coordinating a personalized service with a funeral director and/or member of clergy.
• Creating and officiating at a funeral service based on personal memories that will reflect the personality and lifestyle of your loved one, including writing and delivering a eulogy.
• Creating and officiating at a service for a graveside committal and/or scattering.
• Creating a theme based tribute video with pictures and videos you provide.
What happens at the funeral greatly affects how the bereaved go on to find meaning and purpose in their continued living.
~Alan D. Wolfelt, PH.D
Jackie offers the following programs and is available to customize a program for you, your group and/or business:
• Monday’s Moments complimentary luncheons – One Monday each month, we gather from noon to 1:30 p.m. to eat together, share stories of loss, learn a little about the grief journey and support one another. Each gathering has a specific theme, and those present participate as much or as little as they want. As Rabbi Grollman said, “Grief shared is grief diminished.” These sessions help to bring some light to the darkness of grief.
• Grief education and support groups - Grief is our bodies’ natural reaction to loss. By grieving and mourning, we heal. The purpose of these groups is to provide information about grief, opportunities to share and an experience of learning we’re not alone. A Healing through the Holidays group begins in late fall and Stories of Loss in the spring.
• Voices of Grief: Honoring the Sacred Journey documentary - Voices of Grief: Honoring the Sacred Journey is a 42-minute documentary film that encourages conversations about: the importance of grief and mourning; the need to normalize losses as natural, unavoidable, and sacred facets of life; and the life-enhancing ways to companion ourselves and others through losses. This program includes the documentary and a short discussion afterwards.
• Have the Talk of a Lifetime – We all want to know we matter, but sometimes conversations about these types of things are difficult to have. This program invites participants to explore what might be keeping them from having these conversations and provides ways to help make them happen more easily. Each person will leave with the conversation starter tool, a deck of Have the Talk of a Lifetime cards.
• End-of-life planning and preparation - When we attend to issues surround dying, death and grief, we learn to live more fully now! This program includes topics, such as hospice and what happens as we die, Have the Talk of a Lifetime, instructions to the funeral director, appropriate legal documents, companioning ourselves and others through grief and more.
• Stories, how do they heal? – Telling our stories of loss is part of what we do to heal. Hearing others' stories helps us too. This session will include information about the importance of storytelling and its healing benefits and provide opportunities to engage in the practice.
Hope is not pretending that troubles don’t exist…
It is the trust that they will not last forever,
That hurts will be healed and difficulties overcome…
It is faith that a source of strength and renewal
Lies within to lead us through the dark to the sunshine.
For more information on the Helping Grieving Hearts Heal program email Jackie at [email protected]