Psychosocial / Bereavement


The South Coast Hospice Bereavement Counselors are members of our Interdisciplinary Team and provides counseling to members of the community as well as family members, and friends of patients in the Inpatient Unit, Kingfisher House and on urban home care.

The biggest challenge is ensuring that families are prepared and able to deal with their loved ones dying at home. After the death of a family member there is bereavement brought on by this loss. Although this is not a "pathological condition", many of our patients are elderly and many have families flung far and wide across the globe. This does sometimes make bereavement challenging as their support system is diminished. Fortunately we have a very good bereavement volunteer team who assist greatly with this process.

There have been a number of successes where families felt that they were able to cope with the caring and the dying of their loved one at home and receive continual access to our assistance. A number of non-programme clients have also come in for trauma and bereavement counselling. This is a service that we at Hospice provide to our community.


It is inevitable that there will come a time in everybody’s life when they will lose a loved one. This is the cycle of nature. And so it is that grief is the experience of the person confronted with the loss. When we think of grief we associate this with sadness and crying. Whilst this is true, it is not the whole picture. This is because normal grief can manifest itself emotionally, physically, cognitively (your thinking), behaviourally, spiritually and socially. Naturally the intensity of the grief differs according to the significance of the loss. Understanding the normal symptoms of grief helps us to understand that we are not ‘crazy’ nor are we ‘losing the plot’, but rather that we are experiencing normal grief. Below are some ways that normal grief can manifest.

Manifestation of Normal Grief:


At Hospice we offer trauma and bereavement counselling to our community members as we understand that being confronted with trauma and death can rock the very foundations of your world.


Diane Christensen
Married in 1972, with two children. Son aged 42 and daughter 40.
2 granddaughters and 1 grandson
First qualified as a Medical Technologist in 1972
worked at SA Institute for Medical Research in Johannesburg for 10 years.
Went back to study in 2002 and qualified in 2007 as a Registered Psychological Counsellor - Ba (Health Sciences & Social Services) (UNISA) BA Hons(in Psychology) (UNISA)