ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a "life loss?"
A life loss is the loss of someone or something significant, important, or precious to you. Life losses can affect personal relationships, sometimes disrupting them in unhealthy ways. Marriages, parent-child relationships, and friendships can suffer. Life losses can affect an individual's professional life because of the mental and emotional exhaustion associated with normal grief.

What is a support group?
A support group is a self-help group that offers support for different kinds of grief. Our support groups are free and meet monthly. Learn more about our active support groups.

Do I need to pre-register to attend a support group?
No. Our support groups are open to anyone who has experienced a loss that matches the kind of loss addressed by the group.

Do people attend support groups every month?
No. People attend support groups whenever they need to come. If you’re having an easier time and don’t need to attend, that’s wonderful. If you’re having a difficult time, you can return at any time.

Does attending a support group mean that I’m not able to deal with my own grief?
Absolutely not. Attending a support group is not a sign of weakness or inability to deal with grief. It simply provides a safe place where you receive support for your loss from others who truly understand the grief experience.

What if I don’t want to talk in a group?
You don’t have to say anything you’re uncomfortable sharing. Listening to others can be just as valuable as talking.
What if I’m not comfortable with crying, or if I get embarrassed if I cry?
We welcome tears in our support groups, but we understand if you have difficulty with tears or don’t like to cry. Everyone expresses grief differently.

What about confidentiality in support groups?
Confidentiality is one of our values. Because grief experiences and stories are personal and can be difficult to share, group members commit to confidentiality at the beginning of each support group meeting.

What is a Grief Recovery program? Is it different from a Support Group?
Grief Recovery programs, a series of classes, typically meet either weekly or bi-monthly for a specified time—usually eight to nine weeks. Each class focuses on a specific topic. We teach classes in a non-threatening, lecture-discussion format. Professionals with specialized training teach our classes. Some programs are open to participants at any time and don’t require pre-registration. Some require pre-registration and limit the number of participants who can attend. Some programs are free, and others require a registration fee, depending upon funding from grants or sponsors. Learn more about the grief recovery programs we offer.

What kind of help is available if I’m a private person or don’t want to attend a support group?
We can refer you for private grief counseling.

Is private grief counseling available through the Joy in the Mourning® Center?
Our organization contracts with professional counselors and therapists with specialized training in working with those who grieve. We can also refer you to counseling centers.

Are there grief recovery programs for children or adolescents?
Not at this time. We hope to secure funding for developing grief recovery programs for children and adolescents. We connect families with grief programs for children and teens.

Do you offer programs that can help me learn to help others struggling with grief or sadness?
We offer training programs and workshops for professionals, non-professionals, and church groups who want to be more effective in helping those who hurt. “How to Help a Heartbroken Friend” and “How to Lead a Support Group” are two such programs. We can also provide programs tailored to your group’s needs.

How can I help the Joy in the Mourning® Center for Life Losses?
You can help by volunteering, organizing a fund-raiser, helping make people aware of the work we do, and donating. All of these things help us provide no-cost or low-cost grief services. Click here for information about how you can support our Center.

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