Sometimes a listening ear can help, even if the person on the other end of the phone is a stranger. Many of us have been in the position of feeling like we need to talk, but preferring to do that from the privacy and comfort of our own home. If you'd like telephone support, you can call or text 413-570-0811 or contact us.
It's likely that the first person you'll talk to is Carol or Lisa. After an initial conversation, we may refer you to another community member whose loss experience is very similar to your own. In this way, Empty Arms hopes to offer peer support to those who may not yet feel comfortable with the larger support group setting.
Support via email
Feel like dumping out all your truest feelings onto the screen? Go for it! Not only will we read your words, but we'll write back to you. Many a person has started their connection with Empty Arms through a series of late-night emails. If this feels like the right way for you, email away. We're here on the other end of the inbox.
In general, we use our Facebook page to keep participants updated about our meetings and other activities. However, in addition to this main page, each of our support groups have private Facebook groups associated with them, so that members can connect between monthly meetings. On these pages people will share stories, post when they're having a particularly hard day, and ask for advice from other members. While many of the folks involved with these pages do attend monthly groups, we also see these FB pages as a way for people less comfortable with the group setting in person to reap some of the same benefits. If you'd like to be added to a closed Facebook group, please contact us.
Perhaps, after a talk on the phone or a few emails, you'll feel like you want to meet up with someone in a smaller setting. We've negotiated many coffee shop "blind dates" among peers, and we'd also love to welcome you to our office for a quiet meeting if that would feel helpful. A personal connection can often be a nice bridge to the support group setting.
We're fortunate here in Western Massachusetts to have The Garden, a Center for Grieving Children and Teens. If you have children over the age of 5, the Garden's programs may provide a safe, structured way for you to work with your grief together. For more information, please contact Shelly -a trusted Empty Arms resource- at (413) 582 5312 or email@example.com.
Sometimes our families struggle with the unexpected costs of laying their child to rest. We have a list of funeral homes that offer reduced-cost cremations, please reach out if that would be helpful. Even still, the financial cost can still be overwhelming. We have a specific donor-created fund for this purpose. Please contact us, if you would like additional information about this program.
We also have a list of compassionate, experienced therapists who may be able to help you on an individual level. You can read about our therapists here on our website.
We also keep close connections with Western Massachusetts alternative care health providers (acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists, etc.) who have approached us with their desire to help families to navigate the difficult journey of grief and healing.
We understand how difficult making that first call can be. You deserve support during your time of loss. If you want to talk but can’t pick up the phone to make that call, send us an email and let us know what you need, and we can make some calls for you. Or you can even ask one of your health care providers to contact us with your information. We're happy to help you get the support you need.