There are times in our lives when the support and understanding of others is particularly helpful; the loss of a loved one is such a time. During this holiday season, to help those who recently experienced the death of a loved one, The Pastoral Care Department at Saint Barnabas Medical Center offers a free bereavement support group, Growing Through Loss.
“For those who are grieving, the holidays can seem almost inappropriate and the additional strains of the holidays can create unbearable pressure,” explains the Rev. Thomas L. Craig, director of Pastoral Care at Saint Barnabas. “This group is unique because it provides weekly support throughout the holiday season.”
The non-sectarian group will be led by Vincent Dopulos, a chaplain to Buddhists at Saint Barnabas and a professionally-licensed bereavement counselor. Discussions will address guilt vs. regret, anger, handling pain and sadness, communicating with friends and family and adjusting to life changes.

The eight-week session will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays from November 3, 2011, to January 3, 2012, in the Interfaith Chapel at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, 94 Old Short Hills Road in Livingston. Participants must register and speak with a bereavement facilitator prior to the meetings to see if the groups would be suitable for their needs. The group is free thanks to the generous support of The Saint Barnabas Medical Center Foundation. There is a nominal fee for parking at the Medical Center. For more information, call Saint Barnabas’s Pastoral Care Department at 973-322-5015.