How do we move on after losing a loved one? Each grieving journey is uniquely difficult for everyone. At times, it may seem impossible to “move on” with life while coping with death, but there are tools and programs available to help grieving individuals, families, children, and teens. A grieving center is one tool available for support
What Is a Grieving Center?
Grieving centers come in a wide range of program missions and types, but they all share the same approach: group support. In general, grieving centers wish to provide an environment that is both safe and supportive for those mourners. While some loss and grief programs are exclusively focused on emotional healing after the death of a loved one, some programs incorporate many sources of grief. Facilitation, activities, and informational resources vary within each program; some programs use expressive medias such as art, music, and writing while others take a more clinical approach to identify the emotions in the grieving experience and cope with the aftermath.
Support groups are not to be confused with therapy or professional counseling. Therapy and counseling sessions are facilitated by professional psychologists, usually require payment by hour or session, and tend to be one-on-one or held in smaller numbers. Support groups are often facilitated by volunteers through non-profit organizations, occur at a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly time, meet in larger numbers, and are, often, free of charge.
The Benefits of Attending a Grieving Center
Grieving centers give families and friends a change to identify and cope with the bombardment of emotions following the death of a loved one. Having a designated time and a safe environment to let emotions and experiences surface allows one who is struggling with loss to move on without forgetting their loved one or hiding important feelings. Though a support group can never replace a loved one, grieving centers have enabled many who are crippled by loss to become healthy and functional once more.
Grieving Centers in Utah
Canary Gardens – Canary gardens centers around providing families, including children, teenagers, and adults, with an outlet for their grief after someone close to them has died. They believe that sharing experiences with others who are the same age as each family member helps the individual to be more able to resolve their grief and move forward in the healing process. Programs for children and youth explore grief using art, music, play, storytelling, and creative writing. Programs for adults focus on dealing with the nature of loss—for example, sudden, long-term, suicide, etc.
All programs at Canary Gardens are free of charge and facilitated by volunteers with supplies raised through donations and funding.
Canary Gardens makes the important distinction that this service is not therapy but a support group for families and individuals.
Locations: Orem, UT
Phone Number: (801)-636-3602
The Family Summit – This center for grieving children offers support to children, teens, and their families who are experiencing the loss of someone they love through death, divorce, or separation. In addition, this center provides help for children who are in foster care, children and teens with complicated grief, and those with anticipatory grief. The services at Family Summit include support groups, school services, crisis intervention and consultation, workshops, guest speakers, and a lending library available to the public. Finally, the Family Summit provides an atmosphere in which children can safely express their loss with the understanding that they will be received compassionately.
The Family Summit is a non-profit organization and does not charge for its services.
Locations: South Ogden, UT
Phone Number: (801)-476-1127
The Sharing Place – The mission of the Sharing Place is to “provide a safe and caring environment for grieving children, teens, and their families to share their feelings while healing themselves.” This organization offers 14 age-appropriate grief support groups for children ages 3-18 that promote hands-on creative expression through visual art, musical interaction, play, and time for reflection. Teen meetings utilize art and music, but also share personal thoughts, readings, or songs. Parents meet separately in groups that are designed to meet their individual needs. In addition, the Sharing Place promotes awareness of school districts to children who are facing extreme loss and the impact which that loss can have on different ages. The Sharing Place provides yet another tool for assisting individuals through their unique journeys of grief.
The administration at this non-profit organization is paid and functions mostly on grants and donations. The Sharing Place asks its participating families to pay a self-determined amount, or pledge.
Location: Salt Lake, UT
Cost: Self-determined by each family
Bereavement Program – Primary Children’s Medical Center – Services offered through this program at Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital include grief support groups, grief support letters and a memorial tribute. Support groups are offered two or three times a year for parents and school-aged children. The groups run for six weeks and are held on Wednesdays from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Grief support letters are offered for a one year period after the death of a
child. The Memorial Tribute is an event to commemorate the children who died at Primary Children’s Hospital the previous year.
Location:Salt Lake, UT
Caring Connections – University of Utah College of Nursing – Caring Connections states that their goal is “to provide excellent evidence-based bereavement care to grieving persons in the Intermountain West through clinician facilitated support groups, with particular attention to the care of families.” Groups at Caring Connections are eight-weeks long and are kept relatively small to allow each member to fully involve his or herself. This program hopes that participants will be able to grow in their walk through grief with education and support from group leaders and by sharing with others their experiences. Caring Connections also offers educational programs including “Grief and the Holidays”, the annual “Seeds of Remembrance” event, and several professional programs.
The facilitators are clinicians in the fields of social work, nursing, counseling, and psychology at the University of Utah.
Location: Salt Lake, UT
How Can We Help You?
At Christensen & Hymas, we want to help. If you have any questions that we can answer about your wrongful death claim, feel welcome to call us at (801)-506-0800.
More readings on wrongful death claims: Wrongful Death Accidents, My Loved One was Killed in an Accident…What Do I Do Now?