WHO DOES POCKETS OF LIGHT SERVE?
Located in Essex County, New Jersey, our programs provide support to anyone in the surrounding area who has lost a baby before, during or shortly after birth. Whether you’ve suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, or death in the first few months of life, we are here to help.
IS THERE A FEE TO ATTEND A SUPPORT GROUP?
Our services and support groups are free of charge to anyone in need. Pockets of Light is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization – and relies on donations to provide programs and services.
DO I NEED TO REGISTER IN ADVANCE OR CAN I JUST DROP INTO A GROUP?
Pre-registration is required for our Stillbirth & Early Infant Loss Support Groups. These are “closed groups” that meet weekly for approximately 7 consecutive weeks. This allows participants to explore their grief with the same participants each week – a model that is not present elsewhere in our community. We believe this approach creates a familiar, safe environment and helps foster a connection among the participants. It also alleviates the need to share our stories each week, giving us more time to spend talking about new or ongoing concerns and moving through topics that can help parents cope and find hope. Stillbirth & Early Infant Loss Support Groups are limited to 10-12 participants.
RSVP is required for our drop-in Miscarriage Support Groups; however, participants are not required to commit to more than one session at a time. We appreciate at least 24 - 48 hours notice on whether you will be attending.
HOW SOON AFTER MY LOSS CAN I START ATTENDING A GROUP?
We typically recommend that the newly bereaved attending the Stillbirth and Early Infant Loss Group wait at least 4 weeks after their loss to attend a group. Some members come shortly after they have suffered a loss while others wait longer, or find us later. Please contact us so we can help guide you to find the best group and the best timing after your loss. If you need support in the interim before joining a group, we are here to meet, email, or speak with you one on one.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A GROUP MEETING?
If you are thinking about attending your first meeting, please know we have been there and understand how much courage it takes. We would be honored to welcome you. Our facilitators will greet you, and begin the group by checking in with everyone and seeing if there are any specific concerns that group members are dealing with that week. They will then introduce a topic of discussion. Topics vary but may include managing doctors, nurses and other medical professionals; the differences in grieving between men and women; how to cope with triggers and painful social events; and more. General discussion follows. Throughout the group, participants are free to bring up any questions or aspects of their loss they’d like to share and explore.
DO I HAVE TO TALK AT A MEETING?
We realize how much courage it takes to attend a meeting, especially the first one, and how hard it can be to share when your grief is so intense. You are not required to speak but you will have the opportunity if you choose, and we hope you will come to listen.
WHO RUNS YOUR GROUPS AND PROGRAMS?
We are a peer-support group program. Groups are facilitated by trained and certified volunteers who have also suffered a loss of a pregnancy or infant. We are not professional therapists, but can provide referrals for those in need.
CAN MEN ATTEND?
YES! We encourage men to attend our meetings – and male facilitators are present at many of our groups.
I NOTICE YOUR MEETING IS BEING HELD AT A CHURCH? IS THIS ORGANIZATION RELIGIOUS?
We are non-denominational, and have no religious affiliation. Our groups are held in different locations depending on what donated space is available in our communities.