Grieving is hard work and requires considerable emotional effort, so it is often advisable to seek support. Your personal support network, your faith community, support groups, or counseling may be helpful. Pay attention to your own needs. Don't believe that it is a sign of greater strength to "go it alone."
Many different types of community-based support are available. Some are self-help of mutual help groups, which are facilitated by someone who has experienced the same type of loss. Some support groups are run by mental health professionals. These may focus on bereavement in general or on specified losses, such as loss of a spouse or child or loss due to suicide or homicide.
Many communities now have programs geared specifically toward children experiencing loss. Children, like adults, often feel very alone in their grief. Support groups may give children the comfort of being with others like themselves who are experiencing similar feelings.
Information and Resources
The Mass General Social Services Department offers bereavement support groups that are open to patients, families, and staff of MGH and Mass General Brigham. One is a general support group, and the other is specifically designed for children and adolescents, aged 5 to 18, and their parents.
Additionally, the Comfort Zone Camp, in collaboration with the MGH Palliative Care and Social Services Departments, offer a one-day bereavement support program for children and young adults.
Many hospices offer bereavement support groups that are open to all members of the community. Religious institutions, senior centers, and funeral homes also may offer support services or know of specific resources in your community. Additionally, community calendars in local newspapers often list bereavement support groups.
For help locating a support group in a hospice near you, contact:
- Hospice and Palliative Care Federation of Massachusetts
- 1420 Providence Highway, Suite 277
- Norwood, MA 02062
- Phone: 781-255-7077
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Growth House, Inc.
- Bereavement Magazine
- Mass General Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders
- Complicated Grief Study