Help for Those Facing Sudden Loss

By Avow Hospice, Inc. –

Avow HospiceWhen she heard the news, Sharon could feel the blood in her fingers and toes race directly to her heart. Her skin tingled all over as she stood in disbelief. “Your son has been the victim of a car accident,” the sheriff explained. “I’m afraid he died at the scene.”

Within seconds, Sharon dropped to the floor and began to wail. Her husband Tom, also in shock, stood over her frozen in place.

“How can this be?” Tom whispered, “He’s supposed to graduate from law school next week.”

Most people who experience the death of a loved one feel pain, sadness and a host of other overwhelming emotions. In fact, Sharon had gone through all of these feelings when she lost her mother to cancer just two years prior. It was an emotional roller coaster for her and for her family throughout her mother’s illness but Sharon knew the disease would eventually claim her mom so she was able to prepare and say her good-byes.

Sharon and Tom’s newest loss came suddenly and without warning forcing them to face a massive gap between the way the world should be – with their son alive – and the way the world suddenly is.

When your world is suddenly changed by loss, like Sharon and Tom, it is not unusual to be filled with feelings of bewilderment, anxiety, self-reproach and depression. Sudden loss is so disruptive, which often means recovery is more complicated than when facing an anticipated death.

The Avow Sudden Loss Grief Support Group series will provide a safe and healthy way for participants to face their new reality and deal with the complicated emotions tied to their loss. The program will be facilitated by Avow Hospice licensed grief support counselor Frank Sodano, LMF, Ph D.

During the sessions, Dr. Sodano will discuss symptoms of grief, what to expect as time progresses and ways to cope.

Participants will be guided as they:

  1. Face the reality of the death.
  2. Express feelings of all types related to the incident and the compounded reactions of the loss.
  3. Begin the sad, but necessary task of saying good-bye.

There is no fee to participate in this special support session, but registration is requested. To learn more about the program or to register call (239) 261-4404 and ask for Frank Sodano or email Dr. Sodano at

Other grief support services offered by Avow…
Avow opens its arms to anyone who has experienced a loss. Whether your loved one utilized hospice care or not, the following services are available to anyone in the community:

  • Grief and bereavement support through individual or group meetings and regular follow-up.
  • Support for children who will or have experienced the loss of a parent or other loved one.
  • Help with planning private memorial services.
  • Remembering SM community memorial services held periodically throughout the year.
  • Support for the loss of a pet.

For support group schedules, please visit our website at or call 239-261-4404 anytime for more information.

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