HAND of the Bay Area offers several different types of meetings to support bereaved parents at all stages of loss and grief. Please read about the different meetings below to learn about the types of support offered. Meetings are held in San Rafael, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz.
Our grief support meetings are for parents and their adult relatives and friends during the normal mourning following miscarriage, stillbirth, interruption of a wanted pregnancy after prenatal diagnosis, or death in the first year of life. At these informal gatherings we receive and give support by sharing common experiences as we work through our grief. Meetings are facilitated by volunteer bereaved parents who are able to offer empathetic peer support. Meetings may start out with a topic of discussion, but everyone is free to bring up any questions or aspects of their loss that may concern them.
Attending your first meeting may take courage, but parents who attend find a comforting network of support, encouragement, friendship and understanding. Nothing is required of you. There are no dues or fees. You need not speak one word. Even if you no longer need the meetings for yourself, come and share your experiences with someone who has recently suffered a loss.
Parents who are pregnant again after a loss have special emotional and psychological needs. Subsequent Pregnancy Support Group meetings address the concerns of bereaved parents who have started or are thinking about starting another pregnancy. Fathers are especially encouraged to attend.
These playgroups are open to parents who have suffered the loss of a child or children before, during, or after birth. Our playgroups allow bereaved parents to find comfort in forming connections and friendships with those who understand the unique position of being a parent to both living and deceased children. Many bereaved parents feel out of place or uncomfortable participating in regular playgroups, as their emotional needs and perspectives as bereaved parents often differ from parents who have not experienced loss. These informal gatherings offer parents and their children meaningful play and the opportunity to give and receive support by sharing common experiences.