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Free Bereavement Support for the Holidays

Saint Barnabas Medical Center is offering a free eight-week support group for those who lost loved ones through death

The holiday season can be a difficult time for those who recently experienced the death of a loved one.

Saint Barnabas Medical Center is offering a free public bereavement support group "Growing Through Loss" to help others through the period from Thanksgiving to the New Year. 

The support group will meet every week from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday from Nov. 15 to Jan. 3 at the interfaith chapel inside Saint Barnabas hospital, 94 Old Short Hills Road. Group discussions will cover a variety of topics, including how to handle sadness and pain and adjusting to life changes.

Participation is limited and people must register and speak with a bereavement councilor to see if the group is right for them, said the Rev. Thomas Craig, director of pastoral care. 

The non-denominational support group is lead by Vincent Dopulos, a licensed counselor, registered drama therapist and the hospital's Buddhist chaplain. 

Dopulos said his main goal is to create an environment that is safe for all participants to share their experiences and thoughts, be it anger, guilt, regret or sadness. 

"It's very painful, but because they are able to see it in otherwise and recognize it in themselves, there's a connection and that connection is really healing in the group," he said. 

For more information, call Saint Barnabas Medical Center's pastoral care department at 973-322-5015.  

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