Support for those who have lost loved ones

By on March 1, 2011

GENEVA—Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice, a nonprofit organization offering support for those with life-threatening illnesses and the bereaved, will offer a series of programs in March for those who have experienced the death of a family member or friend.

Beginning March 2, is Footprints, a program supporting parents and adult family members who are coping with a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death. The group meets for six weeks, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the FVVH offices in Geneva. An intake interview is required before registration.

Light Finders, a support group for survivors of suicide loss, begins March 7. This group provides a safe environment to talk openly, and is a place to share experiences with others who understand this loss. Light Finders meets Mondays for six weeks, from 6:30 to 8 pm., at the FVVH offices in Geneva. An intake interview is required before registration.

Next Step, a drop-in support group for those who have lost a spouse or significant other, meets March 10 and the second Thursday of each month. Participants will develop skills that will assist them in adapting to the life changes they are experiencing. March’s topic is “Traveling Alone.” See www.fvvh.org for all 2011 topics. This support group meets at 7 p.m. at FVVH offices in Geneva.

For men who’ve experienced the loss of loved one, M.A.L.E.S. (Men After Loss Expressing themselves Safely), meets March 12 and the second Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. at the FVVH offices in Geneva. M.A.L.E.S. provides an opportunity for men to freely express their thoughts and feelings with other men. Coffee and donuts provided.

For families with children ages 5 to 18 who have experienced a death loss, Herbie’s Friends is a program where participants can share their thoughts, feelings and stories. They will enjoy a meal together followed by activities led by trained facilitators. The group meets Mondays, March 14 to April 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin, 39W830 Highland Ave., Elgin.

Pathways, a seven-week program addressing the issues faced by those who have lost a life partner, begins March 16. Emotional support is offered as well as assistance with accepting the death and dealing with grief. The group meets from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at FVVH offices in Geneva.

Also beginning on March 16, Cherished Children, a support group for parents whose child has died, will help parents cope with the sorrow and emptiness in their hearts. It is a safe place to cry, to question, to remember, and to find ways to hold on to cherished memories. An intake interview is required prior to registration. The group meets for seven weeks, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the FVVH offices in Geneva.

In addition to adult and children’s grief support groups, Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice offers support for those with life-threatening illnesses, medical equipment loans, community education on end-of-life care and grief, and a community lending library. All services are provided free of charge, and Spanish interpretation is available for all programs. The agency supports all of Kane and Kendall counties, and parts of DuPage, Cook and McHenry counties.

FVVH is located at 200 Whitfield Drive in Geneva. All programs are free, but registration is required by calling (630) 232-2233 or e-mail info@fvvh.org. For more information, see www.fvvh.org or call the office.