Our primary mission is to provide education, guidance and support to those who are grieving the recent death of a spouse.

We do this by providing grief support sessions for those who have lost a family member.

Additionally, we provide community-based support groups for recently widowed persons and guidance sessions and seminars primarily for persons recently widowed and their immediate families.

Essential to this mission are the attributes that make our organization unique: compassion, continuing support, encouragement, volunteers and a sense of community.


Founded in 2003, AGSS now has six ongoing support groups for widows and widowers that meet in various areas throughout the greater Birmingham area. Three additional groups meet twice a year — 11-week sessions each time. These Young Widowed groups serve working professionals and younger people who have lost a spouse early or unexpectedly.

Other services provided by AGSS are support for individuals with the loss of children, siblings, and parents, as well as seminars offering holiday help.

All of the services offered by AGSS are free-of-charge to participants. AGSS is supported by generous donations.

Volunteer and Staff Leadership

AGSS is a volunteer-driven organization.  We have a 13-member volunteer board of directors and many trained volunteers who work with our support groups.

Most of these volunteers have experienced the loss of their spouse and received grief support services from our employed grief specialist and Program Director Dr. Gertrude “Trudy” Tharpe. Dr. Larry Michael serves as our Executive Director, working in development, planning, and group leadership.