LGBT Bereavement Support Group in Upstate New York

April 2014 | Walter Stein

The death of a loved one can be one of the most painful events in our lives.  We experience a vast number of feelings from loneliness, anger, sadness to exhaustion.   So often we’re told it’s time to move on, you’ve got to get past this, are you still grieving?   It’s hard to talk about how we are feeling or struggling with people who have not gone through a major death in their lives. 

The LGBT bereavement support group sponsored by SAGE CNY & HOPE For Bereaved allows the bereaved  to share their feelings and emotions in a safe, non-judgmental environment with people who understand.  We talk about what life is like without our loved one; the pain of the loneliness and emptiness in our hearts.   Members of the group listen to each other, share suggestions, empathy and encouragement that we so often need.  

The group is informal, no one is forced to speak or see things in a certain way.   Everyone is permitted to express themselves freely and openly.  We strongly stress the importance of confidentiality within the group and outside of the room. 

Many of our members return each month because they feel like they’re understood and their feeling validated.   They experience a softening in their grief or just want to give back for all that they received.  “Through time, talk and tears we move out of the darkness and back into life”.  We often hear laughter as we tell stories about funny experiences that we shared with our loved one. 

The group meets from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm the 2nd Tuesday of each month at HOPE For Bereaved, 4500 Onondaga Blvd., Syracuse.   HOPE also offers one-on-one counseling for those who feel that they need individual help with their grief.  Both the support group and counseling are free of charge to the bereaved.   For more information please call HOPE at 315-475-9675 and ask for Walt.