Support Group Schedule

2024 Counseling and Support Services 

Lifebanc offers comprehensive grief support services to all donor families. We honor you and the legacy your loved one created through the decision to donate. It is our privilege to companion you on this journey as you grieve this loss. Our services include supportive phone calls, letters, resource information, referrals to support in your area, individual counseling, peer support, support groups, one-time seminars, and the annual Donor Memorial Service. All our services are entirely free of charge to our donor families.

Why attend a Support Group?

A support group can be a very helpful experience for grievers. While most people are a little nervous when they attend a new group, they soon discover people who speak the same language of loss and find others who understand the experience of grief. All support groups and one-time seminars are free of charge to donor families.

What donor family participants have said about Lifebanc Support Groups:

“This group was so impactful and meaningful – thank you for caring and support.” – Donor mom

“The group was tremendously helpful, and all the information provided was invaluable.” – Donor wife

“We wish the group could continue; it helped us not feel so alone, and it connected us to our son.” – Donor mom and dad

  • All support groups (except the Art Group) are ten weeks long.
  • All support groups are at Lifebanc, located at 4775 Richmond Rd. Cleveland, OH, 44128 and are from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Support groups are intended for adults; registration is required before each group. The registration deadlines are listed below. For questions or to register, contact or 216-820-4940.


Support Groups

Spousal/Partner Loss

Dates: February 6, 13, 20, 27; and March 5, 12, 26; and April 2, 9, and 16 (Tuesdays)
Registration Deadline: January 30, 2024


Child Loss (A Group for Adults Who Lost a Child of Any Age)

Dates: April 23 and 30; May 7, 14, 21, 28 and June 4, 11, 18 and 25 (Tuesdays)
Registration Deadline: April 16, 2024


Traumatic Loss, Heroic Decisions: A General Loss Group

Dates: July 2, 16, 23, and 30; August 6, 13, 20, and 27; and September 3 and 10 (Tuesdays)
Registration Deadline: June 25, 2024


Writing to Heal (for families at least two years out from loss)

Dates: September 17 and 24; October 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29; and November 5, 12 and 19 (Tuesdays)
Registration Deadline: September 10, 2024


One-Time Grief Seminars

Can’t commit to multiple weeks? Consider a one-time grief seminar, where you will meet other donor families in a safe, compassionate, and supportive environment.

  • All one-time seminars are at Lifebanc, located at 4775 Richmond Rd. Cleveland, OH, 44128, and are from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A light dinner is provided at each one-time seminar.

Help Me Write to My Recipient or My Donor Family: A Writing Workshop

Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm (light dinner provided)
Date: Monday, June 17, 2024
Registration Deadline: June 10, 2024

Overdose and Suicide Loss

Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Date: Monday, August 19, 2024
Registration Deadline: August 12, 2024

Grief 101 (second opportunity)

Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Date: Monday, September 9, 2024
Registration Deadline: September 3, 2024

Grieving Through the Holidays

Time: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Date: Monday, November 11, 2024,
Registration Deadline: November 4, 2024


Grief Out of The Box – A New Series

Grief can be processed in various creative and unique ways. Lifebanc has developed a new series to explore grief in a casual, less structured setting, using different tools and mediums outside of more traditional methods. Just as you register for the groups and seminars, pre-registration is required for these programs.

  • NOTE: not all programs in this series occur at Lifebanc and are offered at various times of the day.

Bittersweet – A Book Discussion

Bittersweet, by Susan Cain, will explore how light and dark, birth and death – bitter and sweet – are forever paired. This book will help transform personal and collective pain into creativity, spirituality, and love. We invite you to come and chat about this book with Elissa Berman Manager of Bereavement Services, while reflecting on your own loss. You can order the book on Amazon or from your local library. Please bring the book with you to group.

  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024 | 4775 Richmond Rd, Cleveland, OH 44128 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM (bring a lunch)
  • Registration Deadline: April 10, 2024

Walk and Talk

Grief can leave us slowed down and not wanting to move. Yet, we know one of the healthiest things we can do in our grief is move our bodies. Join the Bereavement Team at Beachwood Park for a walk and talk about loss, life, and whatever else comes to your mind while walking the path.

  • Wednesday, May 15, 2024 | Beachwood City Park West: Shaker Blvd. Beachwood, OH 44122 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM (no lunch provided; eat before or after the walk)
  • Registration Deadline: May 8, 2024 (a map will be provided upon registration)

Healing through Art – An Art Therapy Experience

Often, words do not do justice to grief. Using different mediums can give our experience expression. Join Misty Ramos, a registered art therapist and counselor specializing in trauma and loss issues, for a therapeutic evening of artistic expression—no art experience needed.

  • Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | 4775 Richmond Rd, Cleveland, OH 44128 | 6:00 – 8:00 PM (light dinner provided)
  • Registration Deadline: June 5, 2024

Healing through Music – A Music Therapy Experience

Music therapy provides various coping skills, including breathing techniques and relaxation, and can be an avenue for emotional expression. Join us for a unique and creative experience to help process grief with a licensed music therapist and the Bereavement Team.

  • Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | 4775 Richmond Rd, Cleveland, OH 44128 | 6:00 – 8:00 PM (light dinner provided)
  • Registration Deadline: July 10, 2024

Life is a Stitch

Do you know how to knit or crochet? Do you want to learn? We invite you to an informal gathering to chat about your loss while knitting/crocheting. Dena Balk, Bereavement Counselor and Coordinator, will facilitate; if you do not have supplies, we will provide them.

  • Wednesday, August 14, 2024 | 4775 Richmond Rd, Cleveland, OH 44128 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM (bring a lunch)
  • Registration Deadline: August 7, 2024

Using Mindfulness to Work Through Grief

Mindfulness teaches how to face life through each moment, no matter what we are experiencing – joy, sadness, suffering and grief – without avoiding or stopping the process. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. Take and hour out of your day to practice mindfulness and experience the benefits.

  • Wednesday, September 18, 2024 | 4775 Richmond Rd, Cleveland, OH 44128 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM (bring a lunch)
  • Registration Deadline: September 11, 2024


Lifebanc serves 20 counties throughout Northeast Ohio. We want to ensure accessibility for all who are interested in our services, so consider the following counseling options to support your grief journey.

Individual Grief Counseling

A licensed clinical counselor and a social worker at Lifebanc in Warrensville Heights offer individual grief counseling year-round. All counseling is free of charge for donor families. We welcome you to our building to experience the warmth and caring we provide all families.

Zoom Counseling

If you’re not able to come into the office, we can talk in counseling via Zoom. All you need is a phone, tablet, or computer with a working camera and microphone, and your session can be conducted in a quiet and private space of your choosing. Are you new to Zoom and hesitant about using it? Feel free to contact Elissa Berman at 216-820-4940; she will gladly answer your questions.

Rides Available

Do you live within 20 miles of Lifebanc? Do you want to come in for counseling, a support group, or a one-time seminar, but you don’t have transportation or don’t like to drive at night? Lifebanc can arrange and pay for Lyft, so you can come to the office when you cannot get here on your own. Just ask!

Peer Grief Support

  • Are you interested in connecting with a fellow donor family for a supportive conversation?
  • Are you in counseling and would like to meet with someone who has had a similar loss?
  • Do you live far from Lifebanc but want to engage with another donor family?

If any of those statements apply to you, this new program is designed to connect newer donor families with those 5 to 30+ years out from their loss. Those donor families who are further out from their loss have undergone training designed to help them companion you through simple, informal conversations.

These experienced donor families – called Peer Grief Companions – are not counselors or social workers, but they have gone through a multi-session training track that equips them to:

  • Be present for the pain of grief, not take away the pain.
  • Listen with their heart
  • Bear witness to your struggle without judgment
  • Walk alongside you, not lead you
  • Respect the disorder and confusion you may feel
  • Understand that you are the expert in your grief
  • Be curious about your experience
  • Know that there is no need to fix you

You can connect via email, phone, FaceTime, or ZOOM. You and your Peer Grief Companion decide the best way to communicate together.

Please complete this online form: or call Elissa Berman at 216-820-4940 to complete a brief assessment over the phone. If you are unsure if this program is the right fit, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.


34th Annual Donor Memorial Service

Sunday, October 20, 2024

For all bereavement services, please contact Elissa Berman, Manager of Bereavement Services, at 216-820-4940 or


Connect with Lifebanc in Other Ways!

  • Check out our podcast.
    • With new episodes released bi-weekly on various topics, you’re sure to enjoy “Let’s Talk About Life!”  New and previous episodes can be found at
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You are welcome anytime to opt out of the Lifebanc bereavement services program. Email us at or call 216-820-4940.


The stories of our donor and recipient families are powerful, moving celebrations of life, hope, and love that get to the heart of why we do what we do, and the difference we can all make. Lifebanc believes that anyone can be a hero – and we see it every day in the generous decisions of people and families who choose and support organ and tissue donation. We’d like you to meet some of these heroes, and some of the Northeast Ohio neighbors they are helping.

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