Support Groups

Bereavement care offered by Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice is a philosophy of care which attempts to put control back into an individual’s life by providing support and assistance with immediate needs. FVVH's bereavement services are open to the entire community -- for adults and children -- regardless of whether the deceased was an FVVH patient, free of charge. One-on-one grief support with a licensed counselor is available along with a variety of support groups designed to serve the entire family.

All programs are offered free of charge, but registration is required one week in advance.  Spanish interpretation is available. Unless otherwise indicated, sessions are held at Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice, 200 Whitfield Drive, Geneva.To register, please contact FVVH at (630) 232-2233 or email us at info@fvvh.org.

Bereavement options include:

Support groups led by trained facilitator

  • Support by a volunteer with special training in grief work
  • One-on-one short-term grief counseling with one of our social workers
  • Opportunities for social interaction


For those who have experienced a loss:


  • Cherished Children
    When a child dies, parents are left to deal with an unimaginable depth of emotions, and need a safe place where they can find support to help them cope with the sorrow and emptiness in their hearts -- Cherished Children is that place. this group is a safe place to cry, to question, to remember, and to find ways to hold on to cherished memories.  A clinical professional will facilitate this group.  An intake interview is required before registering by calling Carol Ann Richeson at (630) 232-2233, ext. 224. Free, but refundable deposit required.

  • Footprints (Perinatal Loss)This unique six-week program supports parents and adult family members who are coping with a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death.  Short-term individual counseling is available at no charge during the interim between groups.  An interview is required before registering. Registration and refundable deposit required.  Call Carol Ann Richeson at (630) 232-2233 ext. 224, for information on next scheduled group.
    Wednesdays, February 5 to March 19, 2014
    6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

  • Light Finders
    A six-week support group for survivors of suicide loss, for which the journey of healing can be lonely, painful and confusing. This group provides a safe environment to talk openly -- a place where others will listen without judging and a place to share experiences with others who understand this loss. An intake interview is required before registering by calling Carol Ann at (630) 232-2233, ext. 224. Free, but refundable deposit required.
    Thursday, January 9 to February 16, 2014
    6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

  • M.A.L.E.S.--Men After a Loss Expressing themselves Safely
    At FVVH, we realize that grieving can be particularly difficult for men who are expected to be "strong" and often bottle up their feelings.  We understand that many men who appear to be adjusting well to the death of their loved one may be suffering silently along.  M.A.L.E.S. will help men grieve by providing them an opportunity to freely express their thoughts and feelings with other men.  Coffee and donuts will be provided.  The group meets at the FVVH offices in Geneva on the second Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. Registration is requested; call (630) 232-2233.

  • Memories of Mom
    This group is for daughters who have lost their mothers.  During this six-week program, we will explore the many ways a mother's influence contributes to who we are.  Coping with grief, changed roles within the family, regret, gratitude, forgiveness and dreams lost and renewed are a few of the other topics to be discussed. This group offers a safe place to express grief and share memories of mom. Registration and refundable deposit required.
    Thursdays, April 24 to May 29, 2014
    6:30 to 8 p.m.

  • Memories of Dad
    For those whose fathers have died, Father's Day is often a bittersweet holiday, evoking a heightened sense of the loss.  Join us for an evening of reflecting and remembering during which you will learn some comforting ways to honor your father's memory.  Registration and refundable deposit required.
  • Our Grief Journey
    This six-week program assists those who have experienced the death of a parent, any age child, sibling, friend or other loved one. Topics include the grief process, coping with grief, spirituality, and embracing change and growth. Free with refundable deposit.  Registration is required.  Please call FVVH at (630) 232-2233. 
    Wednesdays, March 12 to April 16, 2014
    6:30 to 8 p.m.

  • Individual Bereavement Support
    Short-term grief counseling or support by volunteers trained in grief work is available to anyone in the community. Contact Carol Ann Richeson at (630) 232-2233 for more information.

For anyone who has experienced the death of a spouse/life partner:

  • Pathways
    This seven-week group addresses issues faced by those who have experienced the death of a spouse or life partner. Emotional support is offered as well as assistance with accepting the death and coping with grief.  Registration is required. Free, with refundable deposit. Please call FVVH at (630) 232-2233.
    Wednesdays, March 5 to April 16, 2014
    1 to 2:30 p.m.
    Mondays, March 3 to April 14, 2014
    6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

  • Next Step
    This monthly drop-in support group allows individuals who have lost a spouse or life partner discuss grief issues in a safe, welcoming and nurturing environment. Meets monthly at 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at FVVH.

    2014 meeting dates and topics:  

  • April 10
    Creating a Home and Vehicle Maintenance Schedule
    Unsure of how to maintain your home or the steps to take if something is broken? Would you like a schedule for basic preventive maintenance tips? Our presenter will offer a detailed list of successful home maintenance tips and schedules.
  • May 8
    The Science Behind a Smile
    Is happiness a singular event or a state of mind? After going through a death loss it may be difficult to find joy and pleasure in everyday life. Based on Daniel Nettle's book, Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile, we discover how psychological and biological aspects shape our personal views of happiness and why the grief process is frequently misunderstood.
  • June 12
    "Yes I Can" a Daily Mantra
    Author, educator and coach, Sandy Switzer, will explain how life events and interactions can be transformed through being aware of one's own positive or negative mind chatter. Participants will come to recognize patterns of thinking that no longer help them thrive and when adjustments to attitude are needed on a daily basis.


  • Weaver’s Circle
    Designed for people 60 and over who have experienced the death of a spouse, Weaver's Circle offers support and friendship through monthly dinners. Please call FVVH at (630) 232-2233 to be placed on the Weaver's Circle mailing list.

For families:

  • Herbie’s Friends
    A program where family members who have experienced a loss can share their thoughts, feelings and stories. Families with children ages 5 to 18 enjoy a meal together followed by activities led by trained facilitators. Registration is required. Please call Christy Pitol  at (630) 232-2233, ext. 230.
    At Holy Trinity Church
    367 Division Street, Elgin

    Wednesdays, April 30 to May 28
    6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

                                      Additional Support

  • Caring for the Caregiver
    As a new caregiver, you may find yourself facing a host of new responsibilities, many of which are unfamiliar or intimidating.  If you have been a caregiver for a while, you may feel unappreciated, overwhelmed and alone. Despite its challenges, caregiving can also be rewarding. Come and join other caregivers at Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice’s new Caring for the Caregiver support group.  Topics discussed in this 5 week support group will include Responsibilities and Rewards of Caregiving, Self-care, Effect of caregiving on relationships, How to get the help you need and Coping with the anger, hurt and frustration that comes when feeling exhausted and unappreciated in the caregiving role.  Together we will share stories, learn from each other’s successes and missteps and gain an understanding of available resources.  Registration and refundable deposit required. Please contact Carol Ann Richeson or Jeannine Farwell at 630-232-2233 for more information or to register.

  • Loving Legacies
    This group is designed for individuals who have experienced the significant loss of one or more companion animals in their life. We honor the loss of any species of companion animal from dogs to horses, from cats to birds, from rabbits and rodents to reptiles. Loving Legacies will provide mutual support for members in their grief journey. In addition, it will provide grief education giving members valuable tools with which to successfully navigate the grief process. Please contact Christy Pitol at Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice to register and for additional information at (630) 232-2233 ext. 230.