It is not uncommon for people to have difficulty readjusting to life after the death of a loved one.
There are bereavement support groups in our community to offer assistance for grieving individuals. Sharing your feelings of grief or anxiety is among the first steps to take toward adjustment to life after your loss.
For your convenience, here is a partial list of area support groups and services:
A 24-hour telephone grief counseling service designed exclusively for our families.
It is staffed by trained, compassionate counselors with a required college degree in Human Services. All calls remain completely confidential. Visit our GriefCare Line
to learn more.
Hospice of Mercy Bereavement Program
Monthly self-help bereavement support groups and special events offered free of charge
and carried out by Hospice staff and dedicated Hospice volunteers. The following groups meet at the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy, 315 18th Avenue, Hiawatha.
Morning Comfort & Conversation
For men and women grieving spousal, parental or other death losses. This is a good opportunity to learn a bit about the experience of grief and to be assured that you are not alone. Contact Mercy's Bereavement Coordinator for more information.
**Meets on the 1st Tuesday of the month from 10:00–11:30 AM.**
Evening Comfort & Conversation
Featuring a similar format to the Morning Comfort & Conversation.
**Meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 6:30–8:00 PM.**
Younger Spouse Support Group
Just for women, age 65 and younger, who grieve the death of their spouse/partner. Contact Mercy's Bereavement Coordinator for more information.
**Meets the 2nd Thursday of the month from 7:00–8:30 PM.**
Mother Loss: Grieving Daughters
A 4 session series created especially for adult women who, as adults, have lost their mother. Focuses on issues surrounding parental death and the mother/daughter relationship. Call the Bereavement Office for questions and registration.
**Offered twice annually. Pre-registration required.**
Foundation 2 Suicide Survivors' Support Group
Offers support for any adult who has lost a loved one through suicide.
There are no fees for attending. For more information call Nancy Oehlert at Foundation II, (319) 362-2174.
**Meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 6:00–7:30 PM at Foundation 2 Administrative Office, 1714 Johnson Avenue NW, Cedar Rapids.**
For parents who have lost a baby to death.
Offers one-to-one counseling and information. Contact Coordinators, Kassia Fultz or Deb Sheldon at (319) 398-6332 for more information. Sponsored by Mercy Medical Center.
Empty Arms Support Group
For parents with infant or pregnancy loss, or infertility.
Sponsored by St. Luke's Hospital. For more information call (319) 369-7347.
**Meets the 3rd Monday of each month at 6:30 PM at the St. Luke's Resource Center.**
Parents Living with Loss
For all parents who have lost a child. For more information contact Jim Coyle at (319) 393-8000
**Meets the 1st Sunday of the month at 7:00 p.m. at Cedar Memorial Family Center and Library.**
LADOS (Life After the Death of a Spouse)
Local group for widows and widowers.
For more information, contact Bonnie Fritz at (319) 396-4968.
**Meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 2:00 PM at St. Mark's Faith and Life Center, 8300 C Avenue NE, Marion.**
Several local churches provide GriefShare classes.
GriefShare is a 13-week series where a variety of death loss topics are covered from a faith-based perspective. Search the website for current locations or call the bereavement office for more information.
Next Steps is a topic-driven support group for adults who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
Registration is needed the Friday before each month's group by calling (319) 369-7744.
**Meets the fourth Tuesday of every other month from 6:00–7:00 PM.**
Horizons Survivors Program Support Group
A facilitated support group open to any family or friends who are survivors of a vehicular homicide, homicide or felony death.
Groups are free and confidential and is
supported by the Victim of Crime Act Funding through the State of Iowa. Contact person: BJ Franklin
**Meets 2nd Tuesday of every month from 7:00–8:30 p.m. in Room C, Swartz Center at St. Luke's Hospital.**
Bereavement programs and workshops
meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Iowa Hospice Office, 1245 1st Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids (unless otherwise noted). Call for current programs and workshops. Contact Person: Wyatt Dagit
. Bereavement Coordinator
St. Luke's Hospice
St. Luke's Hospice Grief Resource Library
The Grief Resource Library is located at the St. Luke's Hospice office at 290 Blairs Ferry Road NE, Suite 100, Cedar Rapids and offers a variety of information, including books, videos, CDs and DVDs for all age groups. The library is open from 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.
The Grief Journey
The Grief Journey is an eight week support group for adults who have experienced the loss of a loved one. This group, sponsored by St. Luke's Hospice, provides curriculum-based education about the grief process in a safe setting surrounded by others who are experiencing the grief process. All materials are provided to attendees. Registration is needed one week prior to the beginning of the session. Register by calling (319) 369-7744.
Camp Embracing Memories
A free and unique overnight camp for children who are between the ages of 7 and 16 and are coping with the death of a loved one. Designed to help children effectively cope with loss in a safe, accepting environment, activities focus on the grieving process, encouraging interaction with others who have experienced similar losses. Trained Hospice staff and volunteers provide education and support to enhance coping skills and abilities, while still allowing children to feel connected to the loved one who died. Sponsored by St. Luke's and Cedar Memorial. To learn more call St. Luke's Hospice at (319) 369-7744.
Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.
Click on "Someone I love has died" for free articles for mourners. It provides specific information on coping with the death of a child, parent, spouse or others.
Hospice Foundation of America
Scroll down and click on "Understanding Grief" for a 20 minute
webinar on grief basics.
A non-profit, online bereavement support group.
Grieving as a Family
Great information for families and children.
American Association of Retired Persons
AARP Grief & Loss
American SIDS Institute
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors)