Following the death of her husband Rusty, Suzanne Hildebrand moved to Charlottesville to be closer to her daughter. It was a hard time with so many changes; not only was her beloved husband and partner in daily kayak and biking adventures gone, but Suzanne was struggling to find her niche in a new place. Suzanne started to experience her grief intensely and recognized that she was having trouble discussing her loss to friends — and she wanted to change that.
Suzanne was referred to the Center for Grief and Healing by her physician, and began a conversation about grief through group bereavement therapy. By sharing her grief journey in a supported environment, Suzanne says she “felt like she wanted to live again.” The Center for Grief and Healing was so vital to Suzanne’s grieving process that she became a member of the Piedmont Society, a core group of donors who support Hospice of the Piedmont’s mission and vision, and ensure that grief services like those provided to Suzanne are available to anyone in our community at no cost, whether they have used our services or not.
The Center for Grief and Healing offers free one-on-one counseling and support groups for adults that help over 3,800 members of our community heal every year and are only possible through philanthropy. While the grieving process is personal and unique to everyone, Suzanne and many others in our community have been supported by our expert grief counselors through their grief journeys. “Last year alone, over 3,800 adults and 200 children were served by our Center for Grief and Healing. Without support, our ability to offer free grief support services to community members not enrolled in hospice services would be greatly diminished. The generosity of the communities we serve makes it possible to provide these services to anyone in need” said Greg C. Nelsen, who oversees the grief and bereavement services department at Hospice of the Piedmont.