Bereavement is a response to any loss or death in which we are attached. It is a whole person response which involves our physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and behavioral aspects of ourselves. The Valley Hospital social workers are available to assist patients, family members and the community connect to supportive services that can help them maximize their ability to cope through difficult times.

Bereavement services are an integral part of the services provided by Valley Health System. Valley Hospice provides highly trained, experienced and compassionate staff to offer counseling services for all members of the family at any point during the loved one's illness and/or once the loved one is deceased. Bereavement services for adults and children are also offered through Valley Home Care, with both group and individual support. 

Bereavement Groups in Bergen County

AARP Grief and Loss Programs
Offers a wide range of resources and information on grief and loss issues to adults who are bereaved. Family members welcome. Programs include one-to-one outreach support (e.g. widowed persons service), a grief course, support groups, interactive online support group, informational booklets and brochures. 601 East Street NW, Washington DC, 20049. Call 1-888-OUR-AARP (1-888-687-2277) or email griefandloss@aarp.org.

Compassionate Friends
Providing grief support after the death of a child. Bergen/Passaic County Chapter. 4th Tuesday of each month at Mountain Avenue Auditorium at Christian Health Care Center in Wyckoff at 7:30 pm. For information, call 201-567-0089. Note: Chapter also offers a sibling subgroup 18+. Email TCFBergenNJ@aol.com.

FindingUp
An informational and resource website for survivors of suicide. Provides online support as well as resources to local/national therapists. FindingUp was created by a licensed social worker who lost her husband of many years to suicide. 

Grief and Loss Support Groups (CancerCare)
Online support groups for people who have lost a spouse or partner, a parent or a loved one to cancer. Groups are led by an oncology social worker for people to provide support to each other and share resources and information. Call 1-800-813-4673 for more information.

GriefShare
Meets at Cornerstone Christian Church in Wyckoff on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Call 201-689-1949 for more information.

Hearts and Crafts Counseling Center
Individual and group bereavement counseling services for children, teens and adults. Call 201-818-9399 for more information. 

Hope and Healing after an Addiction Death
A bereavement group for those who have lost a loved one to the disease of addiction. Meetings will be held at Calvary Lutheran Church, 165 West Crescent Ave., Allendale on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month from 7:30-9 p.m. For more information, please contact:

Gail Cole at 201-960-4146 or bcole5@aol.com
Patty Trava at 201-394-5287 or pltrava@msn.com 
Lani Bonifacic, LCSW, at 201-786-8572

Movin’ On Group (Widows and Widowers Support Group)
This group meets monthly from 12:30 to 2:00 pm to support widows and widowers. For more information about the program, please email office@grjc.org or call 201-652-6624. Glen Rock Jewish Center, 682 Harristown Road, Glen Rock, NJ. Includes lunch and has guest speakers.

Rainbows For All Children
Rainbows' programs help children who are grieving the loss of a parent or guardian due to death, divorce, deployment or trauma. Rainbows' trained facilitators, using age-appropriate curriculum, establish peer support groups in schools, faith-based organizations, or community centers. Call 1-847-952-1770 for specific group information and locations. Currently, there are groups in Ridgewood, Paramus and Bergenfield. 

Safe Space
Support for bereaved high school teens who have lost a loved one through death. Educational, social, mutual sharing and literature. Meets for 10-week sessions at the Creative Living Counseling Center in Allendale. Call 201-327-2424 for more information.

Separated, Divorced, Widowed and Bereaved Catholics
Offers referrals to groups for emotional and spiritual support, and social activities for separated, divorced, widowed and bereaved men and women. Groups are sponsored by various churches throughout the county and are open to people of any faith. Family Life Ministry, Newark Diocese. Call diocese for group information at 1-973-497-4327.

Southeast Senior Center Bereavement Services
A social worker is available for individual or group support for seniors (55 years old and above) who are bereaving the loss of a loved one. Please contact Paula Gellis at paulagellis@yahoo.com or call 201-569-4080.

Survivors After Suicide
Professionally-run self-help group provides support for family members and friends of people who died by suicide. No Cost. Meets 1st and 3rd Wednesday, 7:15-8:45 pm, at Vantage Health, 2 Park Ave., Dumont, NJ. Contact Amy Knitzer at 973-978-3957, Pat Bonanno at 845-268-4130 or Vickie Simpson at 201-790-6080.

Suggested Books

Awakening from Grief: Finding the Way Back to Joy – by John E. Welshons (Inner Ocean Publishing, 2003)

How to Go on Living When Someone You Love Dies – by Therese A. Rando (Bantam Books, 1991)

The Journey Through Grief: Reflections on Healing – by Alan D. Wolfelt (Companion Press, 1999)

The Wheel of Life – by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (Scribner, 1997)

Other Resources