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.
    Mondays, March 9 to April 20, 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.
    Wednesdays, February 11 to March 18, 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.
    Tuesdays, February 17 to March 24
    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.
    Wednesday, June 17
  • 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. 

  • 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.
    Thursdays, March 5 to April 6
    1 to 2:30 p.m.
    Thursdays, March 5 to April 16
    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.

    2015 meeting dates and topics:
  • January 8
    New Year, New You
    January is traditionally the time when we reflect upon the past year and plan for the New Year. We often make lists of goals, objectives and tasks that we want to accomplish in the upcoming year. Instead of looking at a list of "tangible tasks" (that seldom seem to get done), lets focus on the "intangible changes" that you would like to make in 2015. How can 2015 become a year of healing, understanding and growth?
  • February 12
    Planning For a Life you Can Depend On
    Susan Garbarino, a certified Financial Planner with Mueller Financial Services, is a professional with expertise in understanding the needs of women in transition. At some point in their lives, the majority of women will be solely responsible for their finances due to the death of their spouse or significant other. This can be a very difficult time emotionally and the financial, legal and administrative decisions that need to be addressed can be overwhelming. This presentation will guide you through the important areas you should consider after the loss of a spouse or significant other and help to answer questions you may have so you can begin to "Plan for a Life you can Depend On". 
  • March 12
    Using Technology as a Social Tool
    When someone dies, we often feel isolated. Social Media can be a great way to keep families and friends close, reconnect with people from our past, develop new relationships, and join online communities with like-minded people. Join us as we explore the possibilities of social media and discuss the importance of safety as we do so.
  • Weaver’s Circle
    Designed for people 50 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 St. Marks Lutheran Church
    27 S. Edgelawn Drive, Aurora
    Mondays, February 23 to April 6
    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 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.