HNCO has served North Central Ohio for 30 years.

Editor's note: This article is sponsored to you by the Hospice of North Central Ohio

Losing a loved one can be as painful as losing a limb. Whether it’s expected or hits you unexpectedly, you are never prepared. 

Bereavement services can help provide relief to those suffering from loss by giving them time to focus on mourning and healing.

The Hospice of North Central Ohio (HNCO) offers bereavement services for individuals and families who’ve lost a loved one. These services are provided not only to families of HNCO, but also anyone in the community experiencing grief. 

“Americans do not deal with death well, we kind of avoid it and don't talk about it,” said Becky Pfister, support services manager at HNCO. “And oftentimes we feel very ill-prepared when somebody does reach that end of life journey, especially for those in our community when a loss is sudden or tragic. People are left spiraling out of control and are just looking for support and direction.”

HNCO has served North Central Ohio for 30 years. In 2014, it merged with Hospice of Knox County and now maintains Hospice of Ashland County, Hospice of Knox County and Hospice of Richland County to best provide local care to patients in those and surrounding areas.

HNCO has been a leader in making the final months of life and the grief journey as joyful, comfortable and meaningful as possible.

As a non-profit, HNCO can provide a wider range of services that go above and beyond such as support groups for parents who’ve lost children, and individual services for those who have lost loved ones to suicide or drug overdose.

HNCO also has a Passages support group that meets for 11 weeks to discuss the foundational tenets of grief and loss. This group is offered two times per year. Passages can be followed up with Doorways, a support group for women that have completed Passages.

“While every loss is different and unique based on several factors, there are some common elements that run through all types of loss, and that's what we focus on in the group,”  Pfister said.

Another benefit to being a nonprofit is that all of the local hospice’s staff are part of their respective communities. 

The HNCO Bereavement Program is funded in part through grants, a community partnership with the United Way of Ashland and Knox counties, and community donations. Through the help of the community, the hospice continues to remain a nonprofit organization and will always find ways to help those grieving. 

“Loss can be pretty isolating, and there's so much stuff that goes on,” Pfister said. “Not only the loss itself but all of the things that surround that loss in the future. I think it's important that people talk about it and it's not something, historically, that has been a free flow conversation.”

Learn more about HCNO’s bereavement groups by visiting  

Support Our Journalism

Like local businesses, local journalism depends on community support. Do you enjoy our coverage of the latest in local business? Become a member for the price of one large vanilla latte.

Thrive Reporter

Tierra Thomas is the Thrive Reporter for Richland Source and Content Specialist for Source Brand Solutions. She graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Journalism. When she's not writing news, she's either reading or writing fiction.