The death of a child, sibling, parent, or grandchild – at any age, from any circumstance – is indeed one of the cruelest blows that life has to offer. The journey through this grief is long and difficult. In the early moments, we may find ourselves in an all-consuming pain beyond description. It can be tough to live our everyday lives, challenging to think about anything other than our loss. Even happy memories may bring us pain for a time.
People do not “get over” the death of a child, sibling, parent,or grandchild, nor “snap out of it” as the outside world often thinks we should. This loss is not an illness from which we recover. It is a life-altering change that forces us to build a new life for ourselves and our families, in a world that no longer includes our loved one.
Remember that you are not the only one who has gone through this profound loss and grief. The grieving process can be made a little easier with support. A variety of grieving support resources are available, many of which are online. Below, you’ll find the best grief-related resources in Collier and on the Web for children, parents, spouses, siblings, friends, acquaintances, coworkers and employers.
Project HELP, Inc.
Project HELP works with dignity and compassion to ease the pain of those who have been affected by rape, violence, crime or loss of a loved one.
24/7 Crisis Helpline: 239-262-7227
Avow provides caring grief and loss support services to both children and adults. Services are open to anyone in the community, and include support groups, individual loss support, and community memorial events.
Tucked away in a cozy “home away from home” in Naples, Valerie’s House is the only organization in Southwest Florida with its sole mission to help children grieve the loss of a loved one. Valerie’s House is a special place where children connect with one another and learn the tools to heal after they have experienced the death of someone they love.
239-204-5804 | info@ValeriesHouseSWFL.org, ValeriesHouseSWFL.org
The Compassionate Friends
The Compassionate Friends is a peer to peer Group. Their Chapter has 2 meetings a month. They also provide individual phone support, again peer to peer.
Local 239-690-7801 National 1-877-969-0010
Surviving After a Suicide Loss (Support group of Project H.U.G.S.)
For over 30 years their free weekly peer run Suicide Survivor Support Group offers a safe place for members to share their grief and to receive and provide mutual support.
Vitas provides bereavement services at not cost to caregivers, family and friends of Vitas patients, as well as to anyone in the community who is grieving.
VITAS.com – No Cost
Community memorial programs include:
Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation
Families don’t have to face childhood cancer without support. The Childhood Cancer Foundation provides emotional, educational and practical assistance for families in need.
For families who have experienced the death of a child, find grief resources and online support forums which are fully moderated for safe, caring interactions with others. missfoundation.org
Perinatal Hospice and Palliative Care Resources for Parents
These resources are for parents who have been told by medical professionals that their unborn baby will likely die before or after delivery.
The Compassionate Friends – Supporting Families After a Child Dies
This non-profit organization exists to provide friendship, understanding, and hope to those going through the natural grieving process.
“Ways to Help With Grief,”July 2008
1. Let Others Help You
• Tap bonds with friends, teachers and counselors
• Trust others to help
• Share feelings and pain
2. Remember It’s Normal To Feel What Seems Abnormal
• It is common to feel that you’re ‘going crazy’
• Personal disorganization is common
• Anger and fear will be present
3. Express Thoughts and Feelings
• Words are most helpful and least harmful
• Crying is healthy – it is ok to cry
• Do not fear losing control
4. Do Not Try to Avoid Grief
• Avoiding grief adds misery
• Lean into your feelings
• Grief postponed is acceptance postponed
5. Reach Out
• Sharing is our responsibility
• Do not assume others know what you need
• Choose to be healed
6. Help Others
• Do more than expected
7. Rise Above Bitterness
• Bitterness displaces blame
• Grudges deplete energy
• Forgive self and others
8. Expect to Regress
• Grief is erratic
• Special times can be hard
9. Maintain Physical Strength
• Have healthy eating and sleeping habits
• Run, play, and participate in sports
• Find ways to relax
10. Deal With Your Needs and Immediate Problems
• Decide what your needs are
• Seek healthy ways to meet your needs
There are no timetables for grief.
The bereaved do not process through “stages” in an orderly and predictable fashion. No one will be “done” with grief; by contrast, you will process the grief individually and at your own pace, folding it into your life in a way that becomes more manageable over time.
Grief must be addressed.
This grief cannot be avoided, ignored, or put away. You must go through it in order to emerge on the other side. As much as you may not be able to believe it now, your grief will shift and become less all-consuming as time goes by, and you will smile and find joy again. But right now you must follow your instincts and allow your heart, mind, and body to grieve.
Grieving requires patience and acceptance.
Grief work from the death of a child, sibling, or grandchild is a slow process. Be gentle and patient with yourself and your family. Allow yourself to cry, to grieve, and to retell stories as often as needed and for as long as you need to. You will never forget your loved one; he or she will be with you in your heart and memories for as long as you live.
Information about Death Certificates please click here
What to say or not to say to grievers – by Surviving After a Suicide Loss (Support Group of Project H.U.G.S)
Find a downloadable version of Collier County Bereavement/Grief Resources in English, Spanish, and Creole.