Wilton’s Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County will offer two bereavement support groups this fall, helping local residents cope with loss. One focuses on grief following the death of a spouse and the other helps parents  coping with the death of a child.

Bereavement groups are held at the Visiting Nurse offices at the Health and Wellness Center at I-Park on the Norwalk/Wilton town line. I-Park is located at 761 Main Ave. (Rte. 7); Visiting Nurse offices are in Suite 114.

The support groups are free-of-charge and open to the public but pre-registration is required. For more information, or to pre-register to attend a bereavement support group, call Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County at 203.834.6341. (To sign up for the spouse support group, dial ext. 255; for the parent support group, dial ext. 316.)

Losing a Spouse

Visiting Nurse has two groups that meet for widowed spouses, one on Wednesday afternoons (2-3:15 p.m. beginning Wednesday, Sept. 21 through Nov. 9) and the other that meets Thursday evenings (6-7:30 p.m. starting Thursday, Sept. 15 through Nov. 3).

“In these support groups, we will explore the grieving process and the profound sense of personal loss that follows the death of a spouse,” says Nanette Greene, MA, LPC, a Visiting Nurse & Hospice grief and bereavement counselor.

“With the death of a spouse, we experience the loss of what is probably the most fundamental relationship in our adult lives,” she continues. “We not only lose a loved one but a vital part of our identity as well.  These bereavement support groups will help participants gain a deeper understanding of their feelings of grief and begin the process of healing.”

Death of a Child

The death of a child may be the most dreadful experience a parent can face. Grieving parents can question whether life will ever hold meaning for them again and wonder how they will survive the anguish of their loss. They often blame themselves or they may be angry with their spouse, a physician, or God.

Wilton’s Visiting Nurse & Hospice offers an eight-week bereavement support group for parents coping with loss following the death of a child that meets weekly on Thursday afternoons, 2:30-4 p.m. beginning Thursday, Sept. 15 through Nov. 3.

“Bereaved parents often experience more anger, depression, guilt and physical symptoms than those grieving other kinds of losses,” says Visiting Nurse’s Laurie Petrasanta, MS, BSW. “Parents frequently feel traumatized and isolated in their grief and it is essential for them to talk with other people who understand the devastating nature of their loss and can empathize. This support group will offer bereaved parents a safe place to talk about their child and their loss as well as their fears, anxieties and other feelings. Parents will learn from the shared experiences of others who have suffered a similar loss.”

A non-profit community organization for more than 100 years, Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County provides professional nursing and support services, senior care management, physical rehabilitation, health education, community wellness programs and compassionate hospice and palliative care for children and adults in Wilton and throughout Fairfield County. Visit them online or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.