Anyone who has experienced the loss of a friend, co-worker or family member knows the indescribable pain this causes. More than pain, the loss of someone we love can make us feel truly alone. With the growth of internet technology and the surge of people going online for help, there has been a parallel growth in grief support forums.
Physical grief support groups can be a large barrier to people after a loss and online support groups can offer the safety, support and love that people need most. However not all grief support forums are the same. Here are some things to consider:
Safety & privacy:
When choosing an online community after experiencing a loss, safety and privacy are of huge importance. People in these communities are sharing intimate details and questions to ask yourself include: Are there moderators? Is this community public or private? What checks and balances are in place to ensure your privacy? Some communities, especially on Facebook will ask members to provide death certificates. While this practice may seem insensitive in a time of loss, it is actually a safeguard to ensure that those inside a “Child Loss” support group have actually lost a child.
A good support group is a like a good therapist, hard to find and in need of effort on your part. Not every community will suit your needs and chances are you may need more than one community. If you are a single parent who lost a child, a support group for married couples may not offer you all the support you need but may offer some in addition to others. Follow your heart and instinct and do not be afraid to move on if you feel uncomfortable.
Grief Support Forums
7. Web Healing
Web Healing was started in 1995 by Tom Golden. Feeling like there was no place to turn to online(this was 1995 after all), Tom started Web Healing as a place where people could come together and work through their grief and mourning in a safe environment. The website has links to important resources, videos and the ability to have a grief consultation with Tom. The Forum is very active with boards relating to grief and loss, loss of a parent, loss of a child and more.
6. PetLoss Message Boards
We’ve written about this topic before(“Dealing with the loss of a pet“) and only someone with a companion animal can truly understand the bond that is developed. This makes losing your friend that much harder. This online support forum has over 240,000 posts, a memorial section, grief section and a forum to find homes for abandoned cats and dogs. A safe and caring community.
5. Grief Healing
Grief Healing is much more than a message board. This website has a blog, articles, columns and advice for anyone who has experienced a loss. The forum is heavily trafficked and include topics such as “Anticipatory Grief”, “Loss of a Spouse”, “Pet Loss” and more. The forums are a safe place and every post is reviewed and read by our moderator, a nationally certified grief counselor who visits the site several times a day.
4. Online Grief Support – A Social Community
This grief portal features a myriad of options to help you work through your loss. Sign up and start your own grief blog, upload photos and videos and chat with a sympathetic community of people. The website is comprised of Groups which anyone can join that allow you to interact with other people and contribute. On top of this, there is also a forum with active members. If writing is your release, this might be the place for you!
Featuring forums, chat rooms and galleries, this online grief support message board is growing in popularity. The forums dealing with the loss of a partner and suicide loss are extremely popular and full of loving and supportive people. Probably one of the more comprehensive forums on our list, however it does not feature things such as blogs, articles and counselling resources in a traditional website space.
2. Open to Hope
Open to Hope is a non-profit organization with the mission of helping people find hope after loss. The team behind Open to Hope want to create a safe environment for people to come together and share their stories and experiences of grief and mourning. The website is divided between several sections and is filled with interesting stories of hope and survival. Contributions are welcome if you feel like you have a story you need to share.
1. Alliance of Hope
Alliance of Hope is a support group for survivors of suicide loss. It is a safe place for those grieving after a loss and was founded in 2008 by Ronnie Walker, a licensed clinical mental health counsellor who lost her stepson to suicide in 1995. This non-profit’s website features a blog, a bookstore, personal stories, memorials and a very active Message Board. Registration is open to anyone and it is a moderated forum. You can even volunteer an hour of your time to getting to know new members on their community forums.
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These are all such wonderful resources! Please feel free to check us out as well. Love Lives On has an entire resource library dedicated to grief & healing for those who are looking for additional support!
One of my mom’s best friend passed away last week. She and her friends were all sad because of the sudden death. My aunt suggested grief support and shared this article with them. They liked the idea in the article. It mentioned that a good support group is like a good therapist.
We’re sorry to hear about your mom’s loss! We’re happy that we could be of some help during a difficult time
My husband passed and five years later my 40 year old son passed the same month the bank took my home . My sons baby mama let me stay with her and my granddaughter until she decide I was a bother and evicted me from her home and I am never going to see my granddaughter whom I have been a part of her life since she was born 15 years ago I found a place to live even thou she wanted me to live in my car. She took all the money that I had , kept my extra car keys storage keys all my personnel belongings she want and started locking my things away in her bedroom. My sadness is over coming me
When I was 4 years old I woke to find my greatest nightmare come true. As I walked into the kitchen that day calling her name, completely unaware of the trauma that awaited me, I found her on the kitchen floor. My tiny self did not understand death and I thought she was sleeping. I tried so hard to shake her awake, but to no prevail. So I did what she did for me every night. I ran to my room and got my blanket and pillow and favorite teddy bear. It wasn’t until I tried to lift her head and kiss her cheek and the hair fell off her face that I realized my life as I had known it was over. The one permanent, constant thing in my life, the one thing I thought would always be there, was now lifeless. I’m 24 now and that day still haunts me. I have blamed myself for not doing more (even though she was gone long before I had even awoken), I have blamed her for leaving me, I have hated myself and God and every one around me. I have struggle with depression, anxiety and been suicidal. 8 years later my brother was diagnosed with cancer and 8 months after that he passed. I lived through hell and fought at it’s very depths to get out. Next month is the anniversary of that dreadful day but I can say now that I have truly healed. No one, NOTHING, can replace my mom. But I have found a love and a happiness I never imagined I would have again. My soul still aches from the sting of her death and I still shed a lot of tears. This anniversary is hitting me harder than I expected. I can’t help but think of all the things she has missed. And I wish more than anything that she could see me now. My heart will forever be broken from losing her. But I hope to always live as someone she would be proud of. I’m grateful for the examples of the people in this forum and my heart hurts for those who are hurting too. But I promise you are not alone and I promise that while your loss will never go away, the pain will dull and you may even find yourself smiling again one day – I did.
As part of my healing and my gratitude for the strength I have been given to endure, I started an initiative called The Mom Effect. It is a space and community where we can come together to be what each other needs. I am a firm believer that we can heal eachother. That I hold the missing pieces of someone else’s heart in my hands as they do mine. No one can replace what you have lost, but so many people understand that kind of hurt and can give to you what you are missing. I have also started a blog about my healing and the things I’ve learned. I’m not trying to solicit but do hope that my experiences can help someone else who is enduring their own hell in this very moment.
I lost my Mom who I took care of for 6 years after my Dad passed. She had always taken such good care of me, then my kids, then my grandkids. I love her and respect her so very much. She passed away October 4th of 2018 but feels like it was today. I wake up crying and missing her every day and actually feel the heartache and pain more violently now than before, only guessing that it’s because I am realizing its permanency now. I am in such a dark place. I feel so much guilt that I could have taken better care of her and moved in with her. So many regrets that are eating me up alive. I had planned on retiring and moving in with her but was too late. I wish and pray I could be blessed with a do-over and keep going over and over in my mind things I should have done better, done differently as if all that wishing and praying could magically make that happen. In 2012, I lost my significant other of 22 years in January, my sweet sweet 36 year old son in a drowning accident in May and my wonderful dad in December. I would call that the worst year in my life, that is until my Mom passed, which was so extremely painful and who was always the family’s rock and my best friend. Sometimes for a fleeting sevond I think I can call her to hear her sweet voice and to tell her something exciting that just happened….until I remember I can’t. I don’t feel like I should talk to my siblings or kids about it because they all have their lives and I don’t want to make them sad. So I have realized I have come to the point where i finally and desperately need a life line and to reach out and went to my phone and found your story and kind words. Rebecca Rowland
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I have just read your story Rebecca. I can very much relate to your pain, heartache and the big one Guilt . I did take care of my Mom. I was her caregiving, she wanted to die at home and I was the chosen one out of all her kids. Their are 4 of us. I was asked to sell my home, that I live in with my husband. God love him, he took it on and sold our home and moved in with my Mom. Her house need work, so we did that for her so she could die in comfort. My Mom had made another will ( here’s where it all goes wrong) because thing change in life, so that’s the reason for making a new will. I was made a join tenant with my Mom and her house. So now, the 3 of us are owners of my family home. My sister ( very smart) see everything going on, I sold my house etc… I had no help from her or the others for that matter. Only received phone calls for update on my mom, that’s all she got from them. How we forget where we come from? I had all the stress, and they were stress free. I made all the chooses medically for my Mom. I told that I am doing amazing job and that I am a great daughter for doing this for Mom. My mom passes On Sept. &, 2019. My mom had no money for her own funeral. I had paid for it and no one asked how much was it? and what is our share? They knew that my Mom had not planned her funeral.
So here is my second grief I am dealing with. 15 day’s after my Mom’s funeral, my sister slaps me with a lawsuit. She is contesting the will and she has a caution on my home as well. I haven’t cried for my Mom yet, just trying to get my head around not my my best friend with me no more. My Mom was my only friend in my life time that loved me. I have loved my siblings for 54 years and, no I find out that they don’t. They just put up with me. I have no Mom they don’t have to be around nor talk to me anymore. They disliked me. Even my husband knew that, he didn’t have the heart to tell me. I don’t blame him for not giving me the hands up because I couldn’t do that to if ever.
So now, it’s over 1 year and nothing from my sister’s lawyer is pure hell. My mind is focused on this because she can take everything away from me. If she wins, I have no home. My worry where do I go? I talk to my Mom and the big question is WHY MOM WHY? . where do I go from here . I have no human contact, my husband works 2 shifts. I never see him and when I do and we talk about this, he tells enough all ready. You are getting me mad. So there is my support ( none ). I died when my Mom died. I need to find a support group with other people feeling the saddness, pain, guilt ect….
My name is Catharine and I needed to tell abit of my story. Thank-You for reading.