What Happens on a Night of Support
Families arrive: Pizza, water, coffee, and tea are available to participants.
Opening Circle: Families come together in the Circle Room to begin the night. A large circle is formed. A “talking stick” is passed around and each person shares his/her name and who died. This is an opportunity for participants to see and hear all the people in the room, ranging in ages, who are experiencing similar feelings and faced with similar challenges. It is also an opportunity to name their grief out loud in a safe space, which is a unique opportunity given how often they are silenced or dismissed by uncomfortable adults and peers outside of Good Grief.
7:00 – 8:15 pm
Group time: This is the time when children and adults meet in their respective groups, and where they can share their stories and offer peer support. An activity designed to facilitate discussion is offered in the children and teen groups, as well as opportunities to engage in developmentally appropriate play. The adult groups typically engage in conversation about a variety of relevant topics raised by participants.
During Group Time, children ages 3-12 are given the opportunity to spend five minutes in the Volcano Room, where they can actively express their feelings or emotions. Teens meet in our Teen Center, where they have a special Teen Lounge in which to interact informally with each other as part of their Night of Support.
All children and teens are given a Memory Box when they begin at Good Grief. Here, they can safely store things they have created to remember their person who died. Memory Boxes are kept in our special Vault.
Approximate Group Ages:
- Green – 3 to 5 years
- Orange – 6 to 9 years
- Blue– 10 to 12 years
- Teens – 13 to 18 years
- Young Adults – College to 30 years
- Adults – Parents, Spouses, Guardians
8:15 – 8:30 pm Closing Circle
Closing Circle: Families come together again in the Circle Room to end the evening. Families are invited to share if it’s the birthday and/or anniversary of the person who died so that we can acknowledge that milestone. And, if it’s the birthday of a participant, we join in singing “Happy Birthday” and acknowledge joy and happiness that still exists in life. A group hand squeeze ends the night.