Detroit Regional Chamber > Member News > Angela Hospice Launches Good Grief Program

Angela Hospice Launches Good Grief Program

May 1, 2023
Grief and loss are topics that can be difficult to discuss, often leaving those who lost a loved one feeling alone, a feeling heightened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Angela Hospice’s launch of Good Grief: A Guidebook for Spirituality, Health, and Connection in the Midst of Loss will help those struggling feel less alone — something Angela Hospice has been known for since their founding in 1985.

“Loss is the underpinning to every human experience,” said Debbie Vallandingham, Angela Hospice Director of Grief Care Services. “As a society, we don’t educate or teach… when most people have a major loss, it’s just sink or swim.”

The Good Grief guidebook and journal is offered as a self-guided tool so people don’t have to feel that way, offering coping mechanisms, inspirational stories, and insight throughout its 84 pages.

This road map will help people begin to navigate the grieving process, walking them through the many different aspects of loss and how it can impact one’s life. It’s the foundation to beginning a healing journey.

In February, Angela Hospice staff – such as nurses and social workers – began to provide the Good Grief guidebooks to nursing facilities they work with, to be shared with their residents, families, and staff. Moving forward, the team will follow up with each facility throughout the year, offering additional resources and a workshop led by Angela Hospice staff to further discuss how to cope with grief and loss. Each workshop will be tailored to that specific facility’s needs. Angela Hospice plans to reach every facility they serve.

Jennifer Kirkland, Angela Hospice Director of Business Development, said that the facilities they’ve spoken to have shown strong interest and are also grateful for a program like Good Grief, which will serve as a knowledgebase that can be used to go far beyond a facility’s walls.

“The overall goal with this program is to continue to provide support and healing and hope through grief and bereavement,” Kirkland said. “It’s an extension of what we’re already doing… to get out to even more people within our community.”

“You can start with a foundation, a core of people that can then train other people, and it just keeps growing. That’s the hope,” Vallandingham said.

Originally created in 2020 for the Felician Sisters, who were grieving many losses within the community at the time – including the loss of 13 Sisters due to COVID-19 in the Livonia convent – the guidebook has been adapted by the Angela Hospice team to support all people grieving throughout the community, made possible through a grant from the St. Francis Fund.

Good Grief is also available for the public to download for free via the Angela Hospice website at or by calling Angela’s Grief Care team at 734-464-7810.