West Palm Beach organization offers grief counseling for kids, families

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT
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Many know the work that Trustbridge does with people who need hospice care whether at a facility or at home. However, it also provides much needed counseling for those grieving a loss of a loved one, in many cases children.

"My wife and I lost our son when she was six months pregnant,” said T.J. Tripoli. “We had a good friend that worked with Trustbridge, knew them and recommended us to them, and we started seeing counseling with them."

Sorrow hit Tripoli's family again.

"Then three months after, that's when my sister passed away unexpectedly in her sleep," he said.

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

"They put us in touch with some great bereavement centers that we went to where the boys and I went to it together,” he said. “We are in a group, all of us together, then we separate into age groups, which is really good to talk about it and be with other people in similar situations. I also have a stepdaughter. They include the entire family as well."

Tripoli says grief counseling has been good for the boys.

"It's allowed them to talk to people and the biggest thing for them is seeing that they are not alone," he said.

Tripoli speaks to anyone he meets that there's hope for the grieving.

"I speak to anybody I can, all of our friends, my church, here at work," he said.

The need is on the rise to help kids who have lost a loved one.

"Just in Palm Beach County, we served 75 children within the Palm Beach County School System,” said Marlene Aboytes, “a lot of which students have expressed the loss has been due to COVID loss."

Aboytes is the bereavement children's program coordinator at Trustbridge.

"We offer a six-week school group program, which we travel to different schools for those six weeks, and we meet once a week," she said.

The organization offers help even after the six weeks.

"Those students specifically are invited to our camps, which we host throughout the year," said Aboytes. "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.

Scripps Only Content 2022