Grief Support

Agrace has teamed with CareFlash to help you connect privately with your friends and family, keeping your circle of support close on your journey through serious illness.

  • Centralize communications among family & friends
  • Keep everybody in the loop 24/7
  • Coordinate care, appointments & tasks
  • Share photos, memories and well wishes
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  • Simple to set up and easy to use

    Bridges is an ongoing grief support group for adults who are grieving a death. The format of the group is based upon needs presented by group members attending that day. Because this is an ongoing group, registration is not required. Participants are welcome to attend this group as long as they feel they need support. (While Agrace usually recommends waiting two to three months after a death before joining a grief support group, Bridges may be appropriate sooner.)

    • Wednesday mornings, 9:30 – 11 a.m. 

    Family Series is a grief support group for elementary through high-school aged children and their parents/guardians who are grieving a death. After a meal that is provided by Agrace, participants divide into separate, age-appropriate support groups. In addition to receiving grief support, the adults’ group discusses concepts specific to parenting after a death.

    • March 5, 2015 – April 16, 2015 (Thursdays), 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. Call Jessie Shiveler to register at (608) 327-7135.  We will not meet April 2, 2015.

    Journey Through Grief is a seven-week grief support group for adults who are grieving a death. In addition to providing grief support, the group leader will present and discuss concepts specific to the grieving process.

    • March 10 – April 21, 2015 (Tuesdays) 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., at Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI.  Call Erin Young at (608) 327-7448 to register.

    Kids Grief Support Group is a five-week group for elementary through high-school aged children who are grieving a death. Participants begin the group by eating a meal together that is provided by Agrace. Children are given the opportunity to find support and comfort through meeting other children who have experienced a similar loss. In addition to receiving grief support, this group discusses concepts specific to children coping with grief, and the children participate in a variety of activities and projects.

    • January 22 – February 19, 2015 (Thursdays) 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., at Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI.  Call Jessie Shiveler at (608) 327-7135 to register.

    Spouse/Partner Loss is a five-week grief support group for adults who are grieving the death of a spouse or partner. In addition to providing grief support, the group leader will present and discuss concepts specific to the grieving process when one has lost their spouse or partner.

    • January 12 – February 16, 2015 (Mondays), 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., at Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI.  Call Cheri Milton at (608) 327-7300 to register.  We will not meet Monday, January 26, 2015.
    • March 18 – April 15, 2015 (Wednesdays) 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., at Agrace Center for Hospice & Palliative Care, 1670 South Boulevard, Baraboo, WI.  Call Cheri Milton at (608) 327-7300 to register.

    Support Groups in Janesville/Rock County

    Unless otherwise noted, all support groups in this section require pre-registration and are held at Agrace, 2901 Wright Rd., Janesville. In the event of bad weather, please call (608) 755-1871 to learn whether the group has been canceled.

    Family Series is a grief support group for elementary through middle-school aged children and their parents/guardians who are grieving a death. Participants divide into separate, age-appropriate support groups. In addition to receiving grief support, the adults’ group discusses concepts specific to parenting after a death.

    • February 12 – March 26, 2015 (Thursdays), 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., at Agrace HospiceCare, 2901 N. Wright Rd., Janesville, WI.  To register, contact Laura Williams at (608) 314-2924.

    Journey Through Grief is a seven-week grief support group for adults who are grieving a death. In addition to providing grief support, the group leader will present and discuss concepts specific to the grieving process.

    • January 13 – February 24, 2015 (Tuesdays), 10 a.m. – noon, at Agrace HospiceCare, 2901 N. Wright Rd., Janesville, WI.  To register, contact Fran Coan-Meredith at (608) 314-2919.

    Spouse/Partner Loss is a five-week grief support group for adults who are grieving the death of a spouse or partner. In addition to providing grief support, the group leader will present and discuss concepts specific to the grieving process when one has lost their spouse or partner.

    • March 17, – April 14, 2015 (Tuesdays), 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., at Agrace HospiceCare, 2901 N. Wright Rd., Janesville, WI.  To register, contact Fran Coan-Meredith at (608) 314-2919.

     

     PLEASE DON’T SAY …

    “It was God’s will.”
    “God needed another rosebud for His garden (or another angel).”
    “Your loss is Heaven’s gain.”
    These statements assume that the bereaved’s belief system is the same as yours, which may be far from true.

    “You can remarry.” Or, “You can have more children.” Or, “At least you have other children.” Or, “You think you have it bad, let me tell you about …”
    The bereaved’s situation is worse because it is his/hers. Reminding mourners of their advantages seems to devalue their genuinely painful grief feelings.

    “You need to forget about the past and get on with life. Life is for the living.”
    We ARE getting on with life and besides, if forgetting about the past is valuable, we should burn all the history books and tear down all the statues in the parks!

    “Don’t cry.” “Don’t be angry.” “Don’t be sad.” “Don’t be afraid.” Or any other “don’t” feeling.
    You wouldn’t say to a starving person, “Don’t be hungry,” so it makes no sense to tell grieving people not to feel their feelings.

    “I know just how you feel.”
    This is classically the most offensive thing bereaved people hear. No one knows how another feels. It’s better to say, “Can you tell me about how you’re feeling right now?”

    “Time will heal.”
    Not necessarily. For instance, time alone eventually may heal a broken bone, but without medical support, the bone can heal in a distorted way, making the limb forever useless. Without emotional support, grief can heal in aberrant ways, too.

    “You have to be the man of the house now.”
    (This is mostly said to male children after the death of a father or older sibling.) Or, to any child after the death of a relative:

    “You need to be strong for your [mom or dad].”
    This is not only a terrible burden to put on children (who need to grieve in their own way), but the adults around them may misinterpret their “strong” behavior as “not caring” that the loved one died.

    “You need to get on with your life.”
    If the mourner is functioning on any level at all (even walking upright!), they are getting on with their lives as well as they are able, considering where they are.

    PLEASE DO SAY …

    “I’m sorry for your loss” or “I am sorry you are hurting.”
    “It’s normal to feel sad, it’s OK to cry.”
    “It’s OK to talk about ‘John’ (use the name of the deceased). Take time to collect your thoughts.”

    If the grieving individual has difficulty speaking with you and it is obvious that grief is consuming their life, ask them if they have someone they trust and can talk to. If not, you might suggest:
    – Family members
    – Clergy
    – A counselor
    – A support group
    – Neighbor or long-time friend

    It is our hope that these guidelines will prompt creative sharing based on common sense and heartfelt love.

    Agrace hosts a variety of grief support groups for adults and children that are free and open to the public. We usually recommend waiting two to three months after a death before joining a grief support group; however, the Bridges group may be appropriate sooner.

    To learn when and where the groups below will be offered, click here or call (608) 327-7118. Registration is required for most groups, except Bridges.

    Bridges Grief Support Group Meets weekly to provide grief support to adults who are grieving the death of a loved one. Participants are welcome to attend for as long as they need support.

    Journey Through Grief
    A seven-week grief support group for adults who are grieving a death. In addition to providing grief support, the group leader presents and discusses concepts specific to the grieving process.

    Spouse/Partner Loss Support Group
    A five-week grief support group for adults who are grieving the death of a spouse or partner.

    Family Series Support Group
    A seven-week grief support group for elementary through high-school aged children and their parents/guardians who are grieving the death of a loved one. Participants divide into separate, age-appropriate support groups.

    Kids Support Group
    A five-week group for elementary through high-school aged children who are grieving the death of a loved one. In addition to receiving grief support, the children participate in a variety of activities and projects.

    Kids Grief Retreat
    A two-day retreat for kids and teens grieving the death of a loved one. Participants are grouped with others of similar age.

    1. Watch our two-minute video above.

    2. After you have viewed the short video, click on the “Start CareFlash” button located below the video screen. Clicking the “Start CareFlash” button will take you to a secure CareFlash site dedicated to Agrace patients and caregivers.

    3. After you are at the CareFlash window, click the “Join” box located on the upper right side of the screen. Follow the simple instructions to create your own Care Community and invite your family friends and loved ones to join your supportive circle.

    If you have questions about CareFlash, please call (608) 276-4660.

    Click here for a printer-friendly info sheet on CareFlash.
    Click here for printer-friendly instructions on creating/updating a CareCommunity.

    You can keep your community close by posting updates on your personal CareFlash site. Important information can be shared in a clear and instant manner, without the confusion that can occur when news is filtered through the grapevine. Your circle is also able to respond with supportive messages.

    People want to help, but don’t want to intrude. CareFlash has an iHelp calendar that makes it easy to coordinate all the offers of help from friends and family in an easy and unobtrusive way. It’s simple to list tasks like meal delivery, household chores or errands. And just as simple for your circle to sign up and provide the support you need.

    There’s nothing like a photo to trigger warm memories and revive wonderful stories. The CareCommunity photo page is a place you and your circle can upload special photos and share your memories.

    Agrace HospiceCare will host a Holiday Remembrance Program at Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI, on Sunday, Nov. 9, from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. and also at Agrace HospiceCare in Janesville at, 2901 N. Wright Rd, on Sunday, Nov. 16, from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. The program will be held to remember those who have died, and to gain strength and comfort from others as the holiday season begins. The free program is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.

    As part of the program, Agrace staff will share coping skills and holiday rituals that attendees may use to honor and remember special people who have died. The program will include music, readings and a time for remembering loved ones. Please bring a photo to display as we honor their memory.  Following the program, a social gathering will take place, and light refreshments will be offered.