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.  In response to COVID-19, we are canceling or postponing all in-person events, including bereavement support groups, until further notice. Individual grief counseling support and select bereavement support groups are now available by phone and video for those in need; please check our online calendar or contact us at 650.554.1000 for more information.

New *virtual* drop-in grief support groups
Everyone is welcome; please contact facilitator for details.
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, May 20–July 8, 2020 • 6:30-8pm
  • Suicide Loss Support Group
    1st and 3rd Thursdays, March 26–May 14, 2020 • 6-7:30pm (this group is being held virtually; please email facilitator Isabel Stenzel for more information)
  • 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. For now, the book club will be held virtually; please contact Kate Nitze by email for more information.
New to grief workshop
In Mandarin: Monday, June 8, 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.
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.