West Palm Beach organization offers bereavement counseling for children and families

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Many are familiar with the work Trustbridge does with people who need palliative care, whether in a facility or at home. However, it also provides much-needed advice for those grieving the loss of a loved one, in many cases children.

“My wife and I lost our son when she was six months pregnant,” said TJ Tripoli. “We had a good friend who worked with Trustbridge, knew him and recommended him to us, and we started taking advice with him.”

Grief struck the Tripoli family again.

“Then three months later, that’s when my sister died unexpectedly in her sleep,” he said.

Tripoli stepped in to care for her sister’s two young sons, asking Trustbridge to help them cope.

“They put us in touch with big bereavement centers where we went where the boys and I went together,” he said. “We’re in a group, all of us together, and then we split up into age groups, which is really good to talk about and be with other people in similar situations. I also have a nice -daughter. They also include the whole family.

Tripoli says the bereavement counseling has been good for the boys.

“It allowed them to talk to people and the most important thing for them is to see that they are not alone,” he said.

Tripoli tells everyone it meets that there is hope for the bereavement.

“I talk to everyone I can, all of our friends, my church, here at work,” he said.

There is a growing need to help children who have lost loved ones.

“In Palm Beach County alone, we served 75 children in the Palm Beach County school system,” said Marlene Aboytes, “many of whom have expressed loss as a result of loss from COVID.”

Aboytes is the bereaved children program coordinator at Trustbridge.

“We offer a six-week school group program, that we travel to different schools during these six weeks, and we meet once a week,” she said.

The organization offers help even after the six weeks.

“These students are specifically invited to our camps, which we run throughout the year,” Aboytes said. “They learn healthy coping skills, they learn through hope and resilience that they are not alone.”

Tripoli and his wife are in the process of adopting the boys.

To learn more about Trustbridge in West Palm Beach and the services they offer, Click here.

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