Free bereavement support group available in time for Long Beach vacation – Press Telegram

For many people, the grief this pandemic year has gotten worse, and dealing with it will surely become more difficult during the holiday season. The new Hope Grief support community wants to help.

“We need to talk more about grief and loss,” said David Leonard, executive director of New Hope Grief Support Community, a nonprofit bereavement support group whose mission is to help families and children overcome their grief. “One in 14 children before the age of 18 loses a parent or parent figure, and that number doubles after age 25. We need to allow people to talk and cry and process those feelings that might be difficult to deal with on their own. ”

Starting Tuesday, November 10, the nonprofit is hosting a free six-week online grief and loss support group. Each year during the holidays, New Hope offers bereavement support for those trying to manage feelings of anxiety, sadness, longing, loneliness, guilt or anger over the holiday season.

This year, the band is still happening, but like many events in 2020, it’s moved online. It’s called “Home for the Holidays” and the group will meet for 90 minutes on a weekly zoom call where participants will have the opportunity to learn stress management tools and coping skills for help deal with their grief and loss during the holidays. .

“I was a client before working at New Hope and I was what you would call a high level bereavement after my mother passed away,” Leonard said, adding that he attended a meeting for the first time. band in 2012. “I could move around and work, and life and all that, but deep down I knew I had to work on some things. I wasn’t cured.

David Leonard, Executive Director of New Hope Grief Support Community

He said the group meetings at New Hope helped him learn to live with the pain and sadness of his mother’s passing, and even after feeling equipped to walk away from the group council, the organization had a lasting impact on him, he said.

“I stayed and volunteered for about five years before working there full time,” Leonard said. “The work we do here is so necessary and important; and grief and loss is something that people will always have to deal with.

It is important to note, he said, that mourning is not limited to the death of loved ones. People mourn the loss of relationships, pets, or friendships, to name a few, and any grief deserves acknowledgment and observation.

“With the pandemic too, people were not only experiencing grief related to death, but also grief due to job loss or change of scenery,” he said. “Lives have been completely turned upside down, and no matter who you are, it’s a lot to accept and understand. It’s been a tough year, to be honest.

While there is no charge to attend the Home for the Holidays grief and loss support group, registration is required as space is limited. People can also check the space after the first session. If those spaces are filled, Leonard said his team will do everything they can to help as many people as possible.

“We served the most adults this year – during the pandemic in 2020 – and we didn’t have to turn anyone away even though we had to cancel all of our fundraisers this year,” he said. “As long as we have the staff and the time, we won’t turn anyone away.”

For more information or to register for “Home for the Holidays”, go to Updates are also posted on the association’s social media accounts, and

To donate, go to

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Virginia S. Braud