Annandale, VA: Bereavement Services in Annandale
Haven of Northern Virginia
ARE YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW GRIEVING THE LOSS OF A LOVED ONE?
By: Don Shaw
There is a wonderful resource in Annandale that offers emotional support to those going through the difficult process of grieving the death of a loved one. That resource is Haven of Northern Virginia, a non-profit all-volunteer organization that has been providing grief support for 39 years.
Haven offers help to those who have lost a spouse, child, parent, sibling, or friend. Losses may be the result of an illness, accident, suicide, or natural causes. Whatever the cause of death, Haven is there to help. Haven’s services includes individual support, walk-in support, bereavement groups, grief workshops, and community presentations.
Six-week bereavement groups are held in the spring and fall. There separate groups for widows/widowers, general bereavement (for the loss of a friend, child, sibling or parent) and suicide loss. Registration is required.
There is also a bi-monthly drop-in group for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. The group meets on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM. No registration is required. Because the holidays can be difficult for those grieving, every November Haven gives a presentation, called “Coping with the Holidays.” Registration is required.
Haven operates out of a small house on Ravensworth Road in Annandale. Haven has no paid staff. Trained volunteers provide all services. After going through a comprehensive screening process, volunteers complete thirty hours of training in grief support. Last year Haven’s trained volunteers provided over 5,500 hours of support through Haven programs. This support was provided to more than 500 clients in our programs.
Haven does not charge for any of its services. It relies solely on donations to sustain its modest operation, providing community presentations through a Speaker’s Bureau. The Bureau helps to spread the word about Haven and assists with fundraising. Haven’s goal is to not only provide caring support but also to provide educational materials and information about other resources available in the community.
Haven is a unique organization. There are few other organizations with the size and scope of its grief programs. As a result, Haven receives referrals from many community organizations, including hospitals, physicians and psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, funeral homes, schools, police and emergency services, churches, hospices, other grief support groups, past clients, and friends. Clients also find Haven on its website.
Currently, Haven is reaching out to community groups like the Chamber, seeking financial support in order to respond to the growing need for bereavement services in the area.
For additional information, please contact Haven at 703-941-7000 from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM Monday through Friday. Or contact Haven by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit Haven’s website: www.havenofnova.org for more information on its programs, books, articles and resources related to grief.