Jefferson Funeral Chapel

 

 

 

Aftercare Programs & Staff

Aftercare Staff and Services

Wayne Jenkins

Community Care Coordinator
Jefferson Funeral Chapel

The Reverend Wayne Jenkins has forty years’ experience, mostly in Northern Virginia, supporting families and individuals in times of loss and crisis. Able to access a variety of resources and program formats, Reverend Jenkins is receptive to your situation, and responsive to your needs. There are no canned approaches. The focus is on you. The goal is to guide you and your family members through your journey of grief as healthily and constructively as possible. Everything is personal and sincere. Available to you according to your situation and schedule, we will customize methods per your requirements and preferences. Small Groups, Individual, Family Sessions, Seminars, Printed Materials and Designated Correspondence are all options for you.

Our concern and support does not end with the funeral. We offer, free of charge, an Aftercare Program that provides support to you and your family. The following services are offered:

  1. Reading lists for those who want to further explore the grief they are experiencing.
  2. Listings of local support groups, with a description of service, a contact person and phone number.
  3. A wide selection of CareNotes dealing with a variety of specific grief issues.
  4. Service of Remembrance: An annual memorial service is held for family members served by Jefferson Funeral Chapel during the previous year. A reception follows the service. Notification of the non-denominational service, held at Jefferson Funeral Chapel, is mailed four to six weeks prior to the date of the service.
  5. Care/Share Groups: These gatherings of 5-7 individuals relate feelings and emotions under pastoral guidance. Schedule: Four continuing sessions.
  6. Grief Support Groups: Up to ten participants are accepted for these sessions that are discussion based. Schedule: Three ongoing sessions.
  7. Individual Care: Private sessions allow you to set the agenda according to your current needs and situation. Schedule: By appointment.
  8. Grief and Hope Seminars: Academic in nature, these seminars identify and discuss grief related topics. Schedule: Annually.
  9. Care-Giver Support Groups: These groups encourage those who provide care for a terminally ill loved one. Schedule: TBD
  10. For more information or to set an appointment, contact Rev. Jenkins at 703-971-7400, or email him at .

How to Plan a Funeral” Seminar

Cory Evans and the staff of Jefferson Funeral Chapel now offer a no-cost seminar titled, “How to Plan a Funeral”. This energetic approach focuses on what you do when someone near you passes away and you become responsible for next steps, if even by default.

In our fragmented, mobile society, neighbors, friends and co-workers are frequently the first to discover someone who has died. Immediate family may be miles away or there may be no survivors at all. Assisted Living and Active Adult Communities have medical services, but individuals may lack relational support except for other residents. This need not be an awkward time. We reach out to you with relationships and resources.

A member of our competent and caring staff will come to your preferred location to meet with you, your friends, neighbors, organization, or religious group, to lead this interactive seminar that will calm fears, alleviate anxieties, describe procedures, and answer questions. We will connect you with a trustworthy professional who will explain necessary forms, acquaint you with procedures, and preview the option of pre-planning, so that personal desires and legal requirements are respected.

To find out more about the “How to Plan” Seminar or to schedule one at your convenience, email us at or call us at 703-971-7400.

Grief Lingers

Long after a new normal seems to characterize our days and nights, our minds revisit the memory of the loved one and the reality of the pervasive loss. An active four year old who lost his dad two years ago, runs, plays, and sings. He looks like and behaves like the typical preschool boy. But sometimes, when he lays down at night, his first moment of calmness or quietness of the day, when he closes his eyes, his mom detects a single tear falling from his eye. His tear reminds us that the void is never filled and that the grief may often be invisible, but never thoroughly gone. The following are some suggestions for how we can aid the process of grieving in those near to us:

  1. Initiating conversation, "Your dad would want to be here for this...."
  2. Identifying common memories, "Hey, I remember when...."
  3. Sharing sadness, "I’m feeling particularly sad today because...."
  4. Underscoring security, "Your dad and I were so excited when we found out we were going to be your parents...."
  5. Assuring love, "Your dad loved you and was proud of you...."
  6. Showing perspective, "This reminds me of one time when you and your dad...."
  7. Actively listening, "Yeah, that is great; what do you feel that...?"
  8. Connecting the dots, "Someday you may be a dad and you’ll get to show your love to your children...."
  9. Being patient, "That’s ok, let’s wait on that...."
  10. Giving unconditional affection and gentle touch, "I love you always and I’m proud of you...."

Grief Interpreted

Grief does not abide by a calendar or a schedule. It does not play by any rules. It does not respect protocol or personal preferences. Grief does not follow a prescribed script. It does not operate according to our expectations. Grief is not a weakness. Wrestling with loss does not mean that you are weird or sick; it means that you have been unwillingly separated from someone of significance to you and that your life has been abruptly altered against your will. Grief is the price we pay for loving someone. Everyone experiences grief, but the way we experience grief is unique and is fashioned by personality, emotions, relationship, faith, and past experiences. When you finish with the funeral and the burial or inurnment, and friends and family have returned to their normal lives, your grieving is not done. In actuality, your grief has only begun. Grief affects emotions, energy level, sleep patterns, relationships, thoughts, moods, desires, communications, and physical health.

Grief Goes Better with Company

Many people, either by choice or necessity, become isolated after the loss of a loved one. Seclusion actually complicates the grief process and hinders healing. Healing from grief, like healing from anything, takes time and is encouraged by certain practices and support systems. One on one talk interaction with a professional counselor or clergy member; small groups led by a qualified facilitator; grief recovery publications and websites; involvement in religious groups and organizations; seminars designed to present the architecture of grief and to promote conversation between participants; social activity with newly found or longtime friends, through community services or religious ministries, punctuates your routine and generates expectation and energy.

Getting a Faith-Lift

The passing of a loved one tends to alert us to the temporal nature of life on this earth. Such an experience exposes us to the inevitability of death and disappointment. Often, feelings of hopelessness invade our minds. In the case of a terminal illness, the months or even years prior to the death, are fatiguing, dismal and discouraging due to the physical and sometimes mental demise of the loved one. When death comes suddenly, shock and disbelief stun family and friends. Either way, loss drags human eyes downward and puts our spirits in a tailspin. At these times it is important to have a different orientation, one that is not bound by what we see and what we feel. Faith in God, who is more than we are, gives us hope in someone greater than we are. A community of faith shares the load of grief and transcends the ordinary outlook.

Find help at GriefShare

In addition to what we offer here at Jefferson, you may want to consider GriefShare seminars and support groups. Led by people who understand what you are going through, GriefShare groups and resources may help you recover from your loss and guide you in rebuilding your life. Thousands of GriefShare grief recovery support groups meet throughout the US, Canada, and in over 10 other countries. For a complete listing of locations available here in Northern Virginia, and for more details about GriefShare, consult the GriefShare website at www.griefshare.org.

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