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 have moved our bereavement support groups and workshops online, 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.
  • Tuesday evenings 6-7:30pm, led by Christine Kovach, LCSW
  • Thursday afternoons 4-5:30pm, led by Isabel Stenzel, LCSW
  • 1st, 3rd & 5th Saturday mornings 10-11:30am, led by Tracie Pyers, MSW
  • 2nd & 4th Saturday mornings 10-11:30am, led by Tracie Pyers, MSW (focused on spouse/partner loss)
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.
  • Spouse Loss Support Group (this group is being held virtually; please email Christine Kovach for more information)
    Wednesdays, September 2–October 21, 2020 • 10:30am-noon
  • Resilience in Grief Support Group (this group is being held virtually; please email Isabel Stenzel for more information)
    Mondays, September 21–October 26, 2020 • 6:30-8:30pm
  • Writing Through Loss Support Group (this group is being held virtually; please email Isabel Stenzel for more information; no experience necessary)
    Wednesdays, September 23–November 11, 2020 • 6-7:30pm
  • Suicide Loss Support Group
    1st and 3rd Thursdays, 6-7:30pm (this group is being held virtually; please email Isabel Stenzel for more information)
Free; donations gratefully accepted. These workshops 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–July 8, 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.
Art for healing through grief workshop series
First Thursday of the month, May 7–October 1, 2020 • 6-8pm
This five-month long, once-a-month expressive arts workshop offers adults and mature teens a creative outlet for expressing grief. This workshop series will be held virtually, with art that can be done “at home together,” until it is safe to meet in person. Please contact Christine by email  for more information.
*Virtual* New to grief workshops
Thursday, June 18, 2020 • 6-8pm
In Mandarin: Saturday, August 8, 2020 • 10am-noon 理解哀伤
Thursday, September 17, 2020 • 10am-noon
An overview of what to expect in the grief process, including tips for proactive coping. Please register at least 60 minutes in advance to receive the login info needed to join the workshop.
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.