Grief support

Mission Hospice offers bereavement support for those who are grieving or facing the death of a loved one. We can help you:

  • Learn about the grief process
  • Express your feelings of grief
  • Talk about loved ones who have died
  • Sort through the stresses and anxieties that may come with new roles and responsibilities
  • Discover how to use natural strengths to get through this difficult time
  • Uncover the potential for growth and transformation following loss

Grief support groups and workshops

Mission Hospice professionals host free grief support groups open to the community.  Although the groups are free of charge, donations are gratefully accepted. Schedules are subject to change; check the latest group meetings schedule in our Community Connections guide or our online calendar, or call 650.554.1000 for more information.

Free drop-in grief support groups
Everyone is welcome; no RSVP needed.
  • Tuesday evenings 6-7:30pm
  • 1st and 3rd Saturdays 10-11:30am, led by Tracie Pyers, MSW
  • 2nd and 4th Saturdays 10-11:30am, Group for Spouse/Partner Loss, led by Tracie Pyers, MSW
  • 3rd Thursday evenings 6-7:30pm, Group for Suicide Loss, led by Isabel Stenzel, LCSW (Before attending for the first time, please call Isabel at 650.931.8236)
*The outside doors to the Mission Hospice office building lock at 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. To access support groups after hours, please use the FRONT DOOR to the building, near the handicapped parking.
  • 3rd Fridays, 10:30am-noon, led by Beth Bashore, LMFT
Specialized support groups
Free. Everyone is welcome; registration is required. These semi-structured support groups meet for about 8 weeks. These groups are in San Mateo unless otherwise indicated. Schedules and locations are subject to change. For details and to register, or if you are interested in a specific topic for a support group or workshop, please contact Isabel at 650.931.8236 or by email.
  • Writing Through Loss Support Group (no experience necessary)
    Wednesdays, January 22–March 11, 2020 • 6:30-8pm
    Wednesdays, May 20–July 8, 2020 • 6:30-8pm
  • Loss of a Parent Support Group
    Thursdays, January 30–March 19, 2020 • 6-7:30pm
  • Grief and Fostering Resilience
    Thursdays, February 6–March 26, 2020 • 6-7:30pm
    Coastside Adult Day Health Center, 925 Main Street, Half Moon Bay
  • Resilience in Grief: From Surviving to Thriving (for adults who have been grieving a loss for at least six months)
    Tuesdays, February 18–March 24, 2020 • 2-4pm
  • Suicide Loss Support Group
    Wednesdays, March 25–May 13, 2020 • 6-7:30pm
  • Spouse/Partner Loss Support Group
    Wednesdays, April 22–June 10, 2020 • 10-11:30am
    San Bruno Senior Center, 1555 Crystal Springs Road, San Bruno
Free; donations gratefully accepted. These workshops are in San Mateo and require registration, unless otherwise indicated. For details and to register, contact Isabel at at 650.931.8236 or by email.
Grief support book club
First Wednesday of the month, January 8–June 3, 2020 • noon-1:30pm
This monthly book club offers discussion and support for those interested in reading about grief in different genres (fiction, essay, memoir, poetry, self-help), and the chance to explore how the readings support you in your own grief.
New to grief workshop
Thursday, January 16, 2020 • 6-8pm
Thursday, March 26, 2020 • 10am-noon
In Mandarin: Monday, March 30, 2020 • 6-8pm 理解哀伤
Thursday, June 18, 2020 • 6-8pm
An overview of what to expect in the grief process, including tips for proactive coping. No registration required.
Preparing your heart for the death of a loved one
Monday, March 9, 2020 • 6-8pm
Gather for anticipatory grief education and support to prepare emotionally for your loved one’s end-of-life experience and death.
Grief & stuff workshop: Organizing belongings after loss
Monday, March 16, 2020 • 4-6pm
This workshop is designed for people who struggle with getting rid of their loved ones’ belongings. We will explore our emotional attachments to stuff and practical steps to letting go.
Art for healing through grief workshop series
First Thursday of the month, April 2–October 1, 2020 • 6-8pm
This six-month long, once-a-month expressive arts workshop offers adults and mature teens a creative outlet for expressing grief.
Preparing your heart for your own death
Monday, April 6, 2020 • 6-8pm
Gather for practical education and support to prepare emotionally for your own end-of-life experience and death.
Drumming circle for grief
Saturday, May 2, 2020 • 1:30-3pm
Explore the rhythms of your grief through dynamic and soothing drumming; no experience necessary.
Supporting your loved one with dementia through grief
Monday, May 4, 2020 • 6-8pm
Learn how to support your grieving loved one cope with loss despite their cognitive impairment.
Annual Memorial Service
Season of Remembrance
An interfaith community memorial service for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one
Sunday, June 7, 2020 • 4-5:30pm
College Heights Church
1150 W. Hillsdale Blvd, San Mateo
All are welcome. RSVP to 650.554.1000

Individual grief counseling

We offer individual grief counseling for adults and youth, in our San Mateo office or in your home. We also offer play therapy for grieving children. $100 per session. Family members of our hospice clients receive eight sessions free. Contact Isabel Stenzel at 650.931.8236 or by email.

Counseling for complicated grief

It is natural to feel intense grief when someone close dies, but for people with complicated grief more than a year after the loss, it is hard to focus on the present and future. People with complicated grief have things that get in the way of the natural process of adapting to a loss. They might struggle with troubling thoughts, excessive avoidance of reminders of the loss, and difficulty managing painful emotions.

Mission Hospice offers an evidence-based treatment for complicated grief. Dr. Katherine Shear, founder of the Center for Complicated Grief at Columbia University, has developed a 16-week intensive treatment proven to help adults suffering from complicated grief. Our bereavement counselors offer this structured grief therapy, using Dr. Shear’s model. $150 per session. Contact Isabel Stenzel at 650.931.8236 or by email.

Other bereavement support

  • Free phone support, resources, and referral
  • Lending library with a wide selection of books for adults and children in our San Mateo office
  • Play therapy for grieving children
  • Inservice training on coping with grief for facility staff
  • Annual Day of Remembrance

To find out more about our grief counseling services for adults and children, please contact us.