Monday, May 9, 2011

Are Friends Considered "Loved Ones"?

I got a request today for a referral to a grief support group for friends.
Now, I’ve been doing some occasional research on this for about six months now. My completely unscientific results so far have shown that very, very few grief support groups specifically (that is, in their literature) welcome friends.
Why is that?
I asked the Executive Director of a well-known agency in Chicago, and she insisted that their general grief support groups welcome friends. When I reminded her that the group description mentions loved ones, she insisted that that included friends.
“I’ve never thought ‘loved ones’ meant ‘friends’,” I told her. She was surprised. She assumed that – because she believed it – that everyone accepted that friends are in fact loved ones.
When I responded to today’s request, I realized that I could only recall one organization (I believe in the UK) that had a grief support group specifically for friends.
So, where to go?
If you know of a support group for grieving friends, or if you have attended one, I’d love to hear from you.

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