Our Tip of the Week: Grief can feel incredibly lonely. In the process of coping with the death of a loved one, it’s common to feel alienated from everyday life and isolated from the people around you not currently dealing with profound loss. Bereavement groups give you the opportunity to connect with people who understand what you’re going through. They provide a safe space to work through the grieving process with the support of other people in similar situations. Because there is a lack of open dialogue about death in the United States, we sometimes feel pressure to sweep our pain under the rug. In this cultural context, a support group can be incredibly beneficial in facilitating a space where you can honestly express your feelings. Listening to the experiences of others in mourning can help normalize your experience in the wake of the death of a loved one, and hearing how others are coping can help you find strategies to deal with your own loss.
How-To Suggestion: Most hospices offer grief support groups open to the public. Hospitals and funeral homes also frequently provide groups or can help you locate groups in your area. Griefnet.org has over 50 email support groups dealing with all sorts of loss and grief issues, if you would prefer to participate online instead of in person. Their companion site, KIDSAID.com, offers kids email grief support groups. One of the benefits of griefnet email support groups is that they operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The griefnet groups are monitored by trained volunteers and supervised by clinical psychologists and traumatologists.