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

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.
  • 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 6-7:30pm, led by Lynne Siracusa, LCSW
  • 3rd Fridays, 10:30am-noon, led by Beth Bashore, LMFT
Specialized support groups
Free. Everyone is welcome; registration is required. These and other short-term 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
    Wednesday evenings, October 9–November 20, 2019 • 6:30-8pm
    Participants explore grief through writing; no experience necessary.
  • Suicide Loss Support Group
    Wednesday evenings, August 14–October 2, 2019 • 6-7:30pm
    Supports those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
  • Spouse/Partner Loss Support GroupSan Bruno Senior Center
    Monday mornings, September 9–October 28, 2019 • 10:30am-noon
    Supports those grieving the loss of a partner.
  • Parent Loss Support Group
    Saturday afternoons, dates TBD • 1-2:30pm
    Supports adults who have lost a parent. Registration is open; start date to be determined once enough participants register.
  • Grief and the Holidays Support Group
    Monday evenings, November 18, 2019–January 6, 2020 • 6-7:30pm
    Supports people through the holiday season.
Free; donations gratefully accepted. These workshops are in San Mateo unless otherwise indicated. Registration is required; for details and to register, contact Isabel at at 650.931.8236 or by email.
Art for healing through grief workshop series
First Thursday evenings of the month, April 4–October 3, 2019 • 6-8pm
This six-month long, once-a-month expressive arts workshop offers adults and mature teens a creative outlet for expressing grief. Participants are encouraged to attend as many sessions as possible. No workshop July 4.
Grief & stuff workshop: Organizing belongings after loss
Monday, October 28, 2019 • 6-8pm
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.

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.