Support Groups

Many grieving people wonder if they would benefit from joining a support group. Support groups are a time-tested method of help for people struggling with all sorts of difficulties. But groups are not magic; there are no words that can be uttered within a group setting that can make grief disappear. 

Will a support group help?

Groups are places to work together and support one another; they are places where everyone gives and takes. Not everyone will find a support group suitable; each individual grieves in his or her own way.  For many, however, support groups have much to offer, such as:

Grief is experienced in so many ways -- physical, emotional, and spiritual. One needs a place to recognize that these reactions are part of the journey of grief. Being with other grieving people can reaffirm that one is not going crazy. While every loss is unique, through support groups one can bask in the support of others who have experienced loss and understand.

Time away
For many people, a support group can be a break from the loneliness and the boredom that often come with grief.

Suggestions for coping
There is no single solution to dealing with loss but members of a support group can offer a range of alternatives. By listening to stories of how others cope with a particular problem, one can find the solution that might work best.

Support groups offer two other gifts:

  1. They provide hope by providing models that reaffirm that one can survive loss.
  2. Participating in a support group can help the griever can find new empathy, new understandings, and renewed strengths.
How to find a group

Most hospices provide grief support groups that are open to those who didn’t use hospice services. Funeral homes, hospitals, and places of worship will also have grief support resources and may be able to help you locate a support group. There are also national grief support organizations with local chapters that host support groups.

Support Group Resources

Click on the following links for help finding a support group:

The Compassionate Friends - Support after the death of a child
AARP Grief and Loss Resources - Support after the death of a senior
National Widower’s Organization - Support for men grieving a loss
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - Support for suicide survivors
Griefnet.org - Support for adults grieving a loss
Hellogrief.org - Support for adults and kids grieving a loss