Groups Help Those Struggling to Cope with Grief, Sorrow

Article excerpt

The holidays are traditionally a time for most families to come together. But for some people, the holiday season is a painful reminder of lost loved ones.

If you are having a difficult time coping with grief, help is available. There are support groups for those who are feeling the loss of someone special during the holidays and throughout the year.

Shands Jacksonville Hospice and Palliative Care -- (904) 798-8340.

Compassionate Friends self-help group for parents grieving the loss of a child -- (904) 308-7481.

It's Okay to Grieve -- (904) 391-1168.

Survivors of Suicide -- (904) 868-5156.

Hospitals usually have bereavement support groups for parents who have experienced a pregnancy loss or a neonatal loss. Talk to your doctor if you need help.

Pet loss: For many of us, pets are like another family member. When they die, the grief is just as real as the sorrow felt at the passing of a loved one. Help is available for pet owners, too.

The following organizations provide phone counseling and free information to pet owners who are having difficulty coping with the loss of a pet:

Pet Loss Support Hot Line is run by veterinary students at the University of Florida in Gainesville. You'll be asked to leave a message so someone can call you back in the evening. …