Chilliwack Hospice Society is pleased to release its calendar of winter programs for the grieving community to participate in, including some modalities of grief support new to the Society’s offerings and many returning programs from previous years.

A safe, supportive space for displaced Ukrainians who now call Chilliwack home has been created at Chilliwack Hospice Society. The group will meet monthly to assist those affected by the war to process their complicated grief and losses. One-to-one support is also available by appointment for those participating in the group and those who aren’t comfortable with the group setting. In addition to a grief support group dedicated to these newcomers to Chilliwack, Hospice Society staff will be facilitating three other grief support groups during the winter months.

First Step Grief Support Group begins February 7 and meets weekly for eight weeks. The group is best suited those who have experienced the death of a loved one in the past six months or year; offering mutual support and socialization for bereaved people wanting the share the journey into change and renewal. It is well-established that grief has no timeline. As such, some First Step group members may choose to begin participating weeks following the death of their loved one. In turn, others may find themselves open to the benefits of participating in a grief support group years later.  A Traumatic Loss Support Group will also begin meeting in February with the exact dates to be decided. The content of this group’s meetings is specifically developed for those who have experienced the death of a loved one due to homicide, suicide, drug poisoning, workplace accident, or sudden illness.

Chilliwack Hospice Society recognizes that significant loss isn’t limited to human connections. Beginning February 22, a supportive space will be created for those grieving the death of a beloved pet. The staff-led grief support group will meet once weekly for four weeks and include participation from the Society’s university practicum students. Students of social work, counselling psychology, child and youth care, and other fields offer a wonderful exchange of knowledge and experience for staff, volunteers, clients, and students alike, and will be contributing to grief support groups – First Step, Traumatic Loss, and Grieving the Death of a Pet.

“In addition to our grief support groups, staff and volunteers offer many opportunities for one-to-one support and complementary therapies to assist members of our community through the grieving process,” Lucy Fraser, director of programs, says. “Informal connections with other bereaved individuals and mutual support can be found in our Relaxation Program, Supportive Walking Group, and Gentle Chair Yoga sessions, as well as our many volunteer opportunities.”

As part of the organization’s community outreach and education programs, a new matinée series of ‘Movies That Move You’ will be shown once monthly, starting with Collateral Beauty on January 24. Each movie has been selected for its themes of grief and loss and are suitable for adults’ viewing and discussion. Advance Care Planning workshops have also been well-received by the community and will continue in 2023 with the next two-part session starting February 16. The writing prompts, worksheets, and group discussion help individuals or their parents develop an Advance Care Plan, including indicating one’s beliefs, values, and wishes, Temporary Substitute Decision Maker, Representation Agreement, and Advance Directive.

Exemplifying the real impact Hospice Society programs and services are having on the Chilliwack community, was once again named a finalist for Non-Profit of the Year by the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. Also in December, Child & Youth Program Manager Franceska Hills was recognized by Murray Mazda as a ‘Local Community Legend’ and received $2,500 in arts supplies toward the Society’s children’s programs.

“Our staff and volunteers at Chilliwack Hospice Society, with support from our dedicated board of directors, continues to build our programming and expand our outreach efforts; providing heartfelt support to more adults, teens, and children who are dying or grieving,” Executive Director Sue Knott says. “We are incredibly grateful for the continued benevolence of individual donors, sponsors, and grants which enable us to meet the increasing demand for our services from the community.”

If you or someone you know is grieving the loss of a loved one right now, call Chilliwack Hospice Society at (604) 795-4660 or visit to learn more about the one-to-one support, groups and workshops that are currently being offered. Donations are always gratefully accepted at the Thrifty Boutique and online at

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