Materials and pamphlets:
A variety of small pamphlets on grieving and grief helping are available in the lobby at Forbes Funeral Home, 319 W. Spruce St., Sturgeon Bay (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.). Materials are free.
Local Support Groups:
The Compassionate Friends
Green Bay's self-help group for parents and grandparents who have lost a child of any age. Contact The Compassionate Friends of Green Bay for meeting times and places (920-437-9252) 501 Howe St. Green Bay, WI 54301.
Door of Hope Monthly Grief Support Group
Meetings are held at Blessing Wood at 5004 Beachwood Lane, Egg Harbor, WI on the third Tuesday of each month from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. For more information or brochure, call Joan at 868-9471. (www.thedoorofhope.webs.com ) How can life’s losses be transformed into new hopefilled meaning? Our sessions open the door into a transformational journey of wholeness and healing in a warm and confidential setting. Professional one on one counseling is also available. Chaplain Joan Carlson, 920-868-9471
Grief share is 13-week grief support group that meets twice a year, January to May and from September to November in the library of St. Peters Lutheran Church. The sessions consist of video presentations by professional counselors followed by small group discussions and are open to the public. Contact Bob Johnson at 743-4431, extension 161 for more information.
Infant Death Center
The Infant Death Center connects with families who experience a sudden and unexpected death of an infant to better understand their unique grieving needs and provides appropriate resources. Staff works closely with professionals serving grieving families to provide additional resources and self-care information for the professional. Visit the Infant Death Center at www.chawisconsilorg for a complete listing of resources or call 414-292-4046.
Life After Loss of a Spouse: Hope Through Healing Grief Workshop
Pleas join us each month for an hour of learning and sharing. Learn how to open your toolbox and get tips on how to utilize these tools throughout your grieving process. Hear from grief experts as well as from fellow community members who are also journeying through grief. You may wish to share your story or to ask questions, or you may prefer to listen and reflect. All are welcome. There is no cost to attend. Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 10:00 a.m. at Bay View Lutheran Church, 340 West Maple Street in Sturgeon Bay, WI. Meetings begin on September 22, 2016. The facilitator for this group is Mandy Sarazen from AseraCare Hospice. Light snacks and refreshments will be served. Registration is not required, but appreciated. Call (920) 743-4705
Healing from Loss
A grief support group for MEN who have lost their spouse is held on the 1st Tuesday of every month at Tanum-Forest Lutheran Church (at 6140 County Road OO) in Sturgeon Bay. It is not a church-based group. There is no cost. For more information, call (920) 743-2009 or (920) 743-4705.
Unity Hospice Grief Support Groups
A five week grief support group offered throughout the year for adults who have experienced the loss of a loved one. Meets at the Library on the 2nd Wednesday of every month. Call 920-338-1111 or 1-800-990-9249.
The following resources are self-identified as providing counseling expertise specific to grief related issues. Their appearance on our web page does not imply a referral, recommendation, or endorsement of their services by our firm.
Counseling Associates of Door County, 743-9554
Door County Dept. of Community Programs, 746-2345
Dr. Dennis White, Clinical Psychologist, 743-1346
Unity Hospice, 743-6440
Chaplain Joan Carlson, 868-9471
Caring for those who are grieving
Realize that nothing you can do or say can make the hurt go away. There are no perfect words to say so don’t worry about finding the ideal words. Your presence alone at the wake or funeral communicates that you care and is very comforting to the survivors.
Be a good listener. A grieving person needs to talk in order to work through their grief. Talking about their feelings is an excellent release for them. Survivor’s may want to replay the events of the death. Don’t be judgmental about the survivor’s feelings and don’t feel like you should have answers to all of their questions. Just listen and make them feel understood.
Instead of attempting to offer justification or explanation of the death (he’s no longer suffering…God must have needed her), just simply express your sympathy and your true feelings about the situation, (boy, I’m really going to miss him, or I’m so sorry for your loss, or my heart really aches for you). By doing this you are opening the door for the survivor to express their true feeling and you avoid minimizing or invalidating their feelings.
Send a sympathy card with feelings from your heart, as opposed to a pre-printed one.
Continue to speak of the deceased and share your good memories with the grieving. Conversation need not be limited to the serious. There are times when chatting and laughing about normal things can be helpful.
The journey of grief is long and hard. The process continues long after the funeral is over and the survivor “appears” better. Continue your support for months after the funeral and perhaps up to a year or two.
Offer specific help to the grieving, not vague offers like “let me know if there is anything I can do for you”. Be specific, like “I would like to watch your children on Saturday afternoon for you, or I am going to bring a meal over today”.
Invite the bereaved to regular activities, like going to church, public events, social engagements or just have them over for dinner or desert. Encourage them to resume normal activities like work, church, and recreation, even if the don’t feel like it.