WHEN: We meet virtually using the Zoom platform. Please always check the calendar on our events page for meeting dates, especially in the fall— if our meetings fall on or very near to holidays we move the dates around!
WHERE: Zoom links for support groups are sent via email. If you are interested in joining this group, please contact us .
WHAT: This is a closed group for those who have accompanied a partner through a loss. If you are interested in joining the next cohort, please contact us.
Below, you will read the principles for the Empty Arms’ Dad’s Bereavement Support Group. Our principles are the best way to communicate the shared values that are upheld at group meetings, as well as to give you a sense of what to expect from participants during the course of a given evening. Strict confidentiality is expected from all group members, and participation in the discussion is totally optional.
At Empty Arms, we know that losing a baby is an isolating and devastating experience. In our meetings we support bereaved parents by naming the incredible challenges they are experiencing, knowing that this group is one of the few places where parents can speak the truth about the depth of their emotions and the details of their experience.
We believe that speaking the truth about the heartbreaking journey of losing a baby is essential. Healing comes through understanding what we have been through and what may lie ahead. By speaking about our experiences they can become integrated into who we are and allow us to move along. We celebrate breaking the silence that bereaved parents have been historically subjected to.
In these meetings we accept you all as you are, where you are. We know that people come to our groups with different backgrounds, belief systems, family makeup--and as facilitators and as an organization, we welcome those distinct differences. Similarly, we honor all losses, and we never compare one loss to the next. Regardless of the gestation or age of our baby when he or she died, we all hoped that we would have a lifetime with the child growing within us. We respect that each and every person’s experience is uniquely challenging in its own right. We ask that you hold all life experiences, as well as loss experiences, with respect.
We believe that grief takes many forms. Emotions such as deep sadness, anger, confusion, longing, and even a sense of intermittent peace can all be normal parts of grieving. No one person grieves like another. We believe each person has the right to follow the path of grief they are most comfortable with.
We respect that each person has his or her own comfort level for sharing emotions and stories. We believe that the very act of coming to this group demonstrates each person’s commitment to their own growth and healing, whether they share a little or a lot. We believe that this extends into the greater world, where each bereaved parent should be liberated to share the pieces of their story and their child in a way that feels comfortable to them.
We believe that each one of you has the inner wisdom and courage to come out into a brighter place, without ever forgetting the baby that you lost.