Support Groups ​

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Due to social distancing protocols, some support groups have changed their meeting details. Please contact the group directly for updated information.

Starting Over

A mutual self-help, open ended support group for widows and widowers under the age of 50 or those with dependent children   

Date/Time: 1st and 3rd Tuesday of Every Month
7:00pm to 9:00pm 

Location: Saul Colonial Home
3795 Nottingham Way
Hamilton Square, NJ 08690

Registration: Registration is Required
Please Call 609-587-0170 to Register

Caring and Sharing

A mutual self-help support group for all ages

Date/Time: 1st and 3rd Wednesday of Every Month
7:00pm to 9:00pm

Location: Saul Colonial Home
3795 Nottingham Way
Hamilton Square, NJ 08690

Registration: Registration is Required 
Please Call 609-587-0170 to Register

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H.O.P.E.- Helping Other People Evolve, Inc.

A structured and sharing, ten week support group for widowed men and women of all ages

Date/Time: Mondays 1:00pm

Location: West Windsor Senior Center
271 Clarksville Road
Princeton Junction, NJ 08550

Registration: Registration is Required
Please Call 888-920-2201 to Register

UNITE Perinatal Loss Bereavement Group

A peer-to-peer support group for those who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth and early infant death 

Date/Time: 1st Monday of the Month 7:00pm

Location: University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro
1 Plainsboro Road
Plainsboro Township, NJ 08536

Registration: Registration is Not Required
Walk-ins are Welcome

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Good Grief

 A peer support program for children and teens who have lost either a parent, sibling,
or other close family member who was part of the child's daily life as a live in caregiver.

Date/Time: Weeknights 6:30pm

Location:  Good Grief
5 Mapleton Road
Princeton, NJ 08540

Registration:  Registration is Required
Please Contact Family Coordinator, Patty Ryan, at 609-498-6674 x 8006 to Schedule an Orientation

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What is a Grief Support Group: Purpose and Benefits

When a loved one dies, the grieving process can be difficult and isolating during and after cremation service. It is often helpful to talk to others who are experiencing a similar loss. That is why grief support groups exist – to provide a space for people to share their experiences and connect with others who understand what they are going through. In this article, we will discuss the purpose of grief support groups and the benefits they offer.

Although friends and relatives offer some sort of relief in this difficult time,  it is not always enough. By joining a grief support group, you will have the opportunity to share your experience and express how you feel in an intimate setting with others who are going through the same thing. There is no judgment, only support and compassion for what each person is experiencing.

What is a grief or bereavement group?

A grief support group is a collection of individuals who have experienced a loss and are seeking support. The purpose of the group is to provide a safe place for people to share their experiences, feelings, and thoughts about the loss they have suffered after the burial service is completed.

The groups can be led by professionals or non-professionals who are trained in grief counseling. Bereavement groups may also be called widow/widower or bereaved parent support groups.

What is the main purpose of a grief support group?

The purpose of a grief support group is to provide a safe and supportive environment for people who are grieving. In these groups, participants can share their experiences, feelings, and thoughts with others who understand what they are going through. This can be very helpful for those who feel alone or isolated in their grief. Grief support groups also offer members the opportunity to learn about different aspects of grief and mourning, as well as helpful coping strategies.

Benefits of a Grief Support Group

  1. Offer friendship - more often than not, you will create a bond with the people in your group. These relationships can be incredibly helpful during tough times. 
  2. Gain insight and understanding - the group provides a unique opportunity to gain some insight and understanding about grief from others who are experiencing it as well. 
  3. Reduce stress and anxiety - when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, sharing your feelings with the group can help to reduce that stress and anxiety. 
  4. Gain a sense of purpose - the group can provide you with a sense of purpose, especially during the early stages of your grief journey.
  5. Improve mental health - attending a grief support group has been shown to improve mental health in some people. If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, a grief support group can help you to manage these symptoms.
  6. Share valuable ideas - as part of the group, you can share ideas that have helped your own grief process as well as hear ideas from others. 
  7. Fight off loneliness - being with other people who are also grieving can help to fight off loneliness. 
  8. Can be used alongside private counseling  - a grief support group can be used alongside individual counseling to help you on your grief journey. The added support  from the group knowing that you are not alone is very beneficial.

How do I choose the right support group?

There are many different types of grief support groups, so it is important to do your research before you decide which one is right for you. Ask your funeral director for information, the purpose of the group, the location, and the cost should all be considered when making your decision.

Participants in focus groups may indicate a desire for more strictly defined groups in which everyone has experienced the same type of loss (spouse, parent, child, sibling, etc). If the losses are similar, comfort levels may be raised, but this is not a must for a successful group. Loss is a shared denominator, and learning comes through sharing among people of various ages and views.

Traumatic losses, such as the death of a child or suicide, are best handled in groups when everyone has experienced the same type of loss. Because many of the challenges they experience are affected by where they are in the life cycle, age separation – such as a group for young widows or one for widowers from older wives is significant.

How do I know if I benefit from the group?

The group provides support to the griever. You are not alone in your grief and there are others who understand what you are going through. The group also allows you to give and receive support from others. In a supportive setting, it is often easier for people to share their thoughts and feelings about the death of a loved one. Finally, the group provides information about grief and loss.

When should I consider joining a support group?

First, you should consider joining a support group when you feel ready. You do not have to join a group right after the death of your loved one. Some people wait until they are six or seven months post-loss before joining a group. Others may never join a group. It is important to remember that there is no wrong way to grieve.

Second, others join a support group because of an existing poor support system.  Friends and family may be supportive, but they cannot understand what the griever is going through. Grief support groups can offer members understanding and validation.

Lastly, when you are experiencing your first loss,  you may feel lost and alone. A grief support group can provide you with a sense of community. You are not the only person who has gone through this type of loss. In a group setting, you will learn about different types of losses and how to cope with them. This is important because each person’s grieving process is unique.

Grief support groups come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to find one that fits your needs. If you don’t know where to start, reach out to Simplicity Funeral and Cremation Services at Glackin Chapel by calling us at (609) 448-1801 – we will be able to point you in the right direction.