Counseling & Support Groups
A few weeks after the funeral, you’ll begin to notice family and friends going back to their normal routines. It’s not meant to be hurtful in any way. They just aren’t grieving at the level you are. And while they may offer to be there for you and “to call them if you need something,” the truth is they really don’t know what to do or even say to you.
Another thing that may happen is people avoiding you or even the topic of how you are doing. They are truly afraid to ask for fear it might upset you. As a society, we are not very educated about how to deal with grievers. Think about it. When was this topic ever discussed in your school or at the dinner table? Maybe the “sadness” was discussed briefly at the passing of an elderly relative only to be “swept under the rug” and never discussed again. So many generations were taught to stay strong and put on a happy face during difficult times.
Which only teaches you to avoid the subject and not show any emotion. Grief is a roller coaster of emotions that can flare up at any time and you should realize that whatever you might be feeling is normal.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get help by counseling and support groups. We offer one to one grief mentoring in addition to group support. The first visit at FHGR, Inc. is free and our counseling and support groups can assess where you are in your journey and make recommendations on what type of therapy will be best for you. If you do decide to attend a grief support group, we recommend waiting about 30-60 days after your loss. We know it will be difficult to get yourself together and walk into a meeting like this, but you will find a lot of other hurting people who “get” where you are. And that can be very comforting.
Typically, the counseling and support groups are seated in a circle so you can see each other. There are a few rules about confidentiality and not talking too much so that everyone has a turn. The attendees go around the room, with the help of a facilitator, and spend a few minutes discussing what they have been dealing with lately in terms of their grief. You see, everyone’s grief journey is different. There is no formula for how long it will take for you to find acceptance, purpose, and joy again.
You’ll learn quickly that what’s happening to you may be happening to others, in terms of how others are treating you, and even have a laugh about what they may be saying. Well-intentioned as it sounds, phrases like, “He’s in a better place” or “It was just his time” don’t do a thing to help you. In fact, they may infuriate you.
The benefits of attending a grief support group include learning some coping strategies to get through a particularly hard day. And perhaps you have a significant date ahead or it’s a holiday. Counseling and support groups will have some ideas on what to expect during these especially hard times. And you’ll make some new friends that you’ll feel more comfortable being around now and into the future. We’ve seen lifelong friendships created at grief support groups. Especially with women who have lost a spouse or parents who have lost a child.
Some grief support programs offer groups categorized by the type of loss you’ve suffered. Some groups are for Women or Men only and that can be a nice chance to talk about issues you may be having in your marriage. Marriages are especially vulnerable when a couple loses a child. There are even grief support groups for children. See all listings below under Grief Support for groups at First Hour and other groups we have vetted in the Louisville area.
At First Hour Grief Response, Inc. we recommend the following listings for group grief support: Please call us at (502) 791-9938 to find out more information.
Counseling in a one-on-one environment can also be beneficial if you don’t feel comfortable attending a group. Most major health insurers cover some kind of psychiatric service and many licensed counselors accept insurance. The ones we have listed here are excellent in helping people navigate grief. You may be having panic attacks or feel lots of anger. Or very depressed.
And while you can “medicate” for the short-term to help you through the first days and weeks, it is not advisable to rely on drugs to help you process your grief. Alcohol is another crutch that you need to be careful with, as many people try to “drown” their grief. Unfortunately, the pain is still there the next day along with a headache and hangover.
Grief is hard work. And it takes you getting actively involved in the process. And being sober and going through the pain. You cannot go around it. And it may take months to years to finally be at peace with your loved one’s passing. All of this depends on the relationship you had with the person that died. Grief is like love in reverse.
Famous author, C.S. Lewis said:
“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.
At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.”
– From the book, A Grief Observed
409 Marquette Drive just off New LaGrange Road
One-to-One Grief Coaching: The first visit is Free. After that we ask for a $50 fee per session or whatever you can afford. We don’t turn anyone away due to inability to pay. Each session is about 90 minutes and is completely confidential. Call (502) 791-9938 to schedule an appointment.
Art Therapy for Grief: Processing your grief through art can be very helpful and we have a program designed to guide you through your grief journey. The class is six weeks in length and offered several times each year. We also have a 2.0 version for people who want to continue to explore grief through art. These classes are by invitation only and for clients of First Hour.
Infant Loss Group: This group meets on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays from 7:00 – 8:30pm and is for people who have lost an infant pre-birth up to 3 years of age. Couples are welcome to attend. The group is free and you must call and reserve your spot: (502) 791-9938
Loss of Spouse Group: This group meets on 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month from 6:30 – 8:00pm and is for anyone who has suffered the passing of a spouse. Space is limited and there is no cost to attend. Please call to reserve your spot: (502) 791-9938
Loss of Parent Group: This group meets on 2nd and 4th Wednesdays from 6:30 – 8:00pm and is for people who have experienced the pain of losing a parent. Please call to reserve your spot. Free to attend. (502) 791-9938
New! Loss of Sibling Group: Meets 3rd Mondays starting Monday, January 15, 2024 from 6:30 to 8:00pm. Please call to reserve your spot: (502) 791-9938. Free to attend.
Monthly THRIVE Workshops January to May 2024: Saturday Mornings 10:00am – Noon and the cost is $10 per workshop. Please call to reserve your spot: (502) 791-9938
January 10th: Vision Boards
February 17th: WORD for the year and making bracelets
March 23rd: Handmade Cards
April 20th: TBD
May 18th: TBD
3407 Ralph Avenue – Now Open!
One-to-One Grief Mentoring: The first visit is Free. After that we ask for a $50 fee per session or whatever you can afford. We don’t turn anyone away due to inability to pay. Each session is about 90 minutes and is completely confidential. Call (502) 791-9938 to schedule an appointment.
Free Grief Support Groups:
Gun Violence Grief Support Group: Please check back after January 2024 as we are securing a new space to meet. Lead by Dr. Renee Sartin. Please call (502) 791-9938 to reserve your spot.
Loss of Child: Meets 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month 6:00-7:30pm. Please call (502) 791-9938 to reserve your spot.
General Grief Group: For any type of loss. Meets 4th Thursday 6:00-7:00pm. Free to attend. Please call to reserve your spot.
Youth Workshops: Registration required for all groups. Space is limited. Call (502) 791-9938
Children Ages 8-13 years meets monthly on Saturdays. Next 2024 Groups:
January 6th, February 10th and March 9th from 10:00am to 2:00pm and includes breakfast and lunch.
Teen Group Ages 14-18 years meets monthly. Next 2024 Groups:
January 27th, February 24th and March 23rd from 10:00am to 2:00pm and includes breakfast and lunch.
In Person Grief Groups meet on Thursdays at the Church located at 920 Blankenbaker Pkway, starting at 7:00pm. There is always a main grief group meeting in room ATCR 200.
1st & 3rd Thursdays: Loss of Child in Room ATCR 202
2nd & 4th Thursday: Two Groups:
Loss due to Suicide/Overdose in Room ATCR 202
Loss due of a parent or sibling in Room WC452
ZOOM GROUP on Mondays: 7:00pm Meeting ID Number: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/217960435?pwd=WDFFK1QyZDlrNTA0dk5QR294R3Njdz09
Meeting ID: 217 960 435
Crestwood Campus: 6201 Crestwood Station
Stillborn Infant Loss Group Meets 1st Monday each month at 7pm. Please call for information: 502.253.8400
Elizabethtown Campus: 600 N. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Please call for information: 502.253.8400
Camberwell Grief Sanctuary is located in Bedford, KY It was created and established by a community of those who have experienced profound loss, as a strong and compassionate solution to grief issues. For those who have experienced loss of child, sibling or spouse, or been affected by suicide, homicide, divorce or loss of job or pet, Camberwell provides hope, healing and transformation. CGS offers nature walks, art therapy, grief support groups, trauma-sensitive yoga, massage therapy and more. Please go to their website: Camberwell.org to explore all they offer in grief support.
Spanish-speaking individuals who have lost a loved one or are grieving another loss are encouraged to contact the Office of Hispanic Ministry. To reach the Office of Hispanic Ministry contact 502-290-4247, email@example.com or visit https://www.archlou.org/hispanic-ministry.
Please check their website for information on grief support groups or call: (502) 456-5451