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 family members of Mission Hospice patients, and to all bereaved individuals living in Mission Hospice’s geographical service area.  To keep our community safe during COVID-19, we have moved our bereavement support groups and workshops online, until further notice.

*Virtual* drop-in grief support groups
Free; please contact facilitator for details.
  • Tuesday evenings 6-7:30pm, led by Christine Kovach, LCSW & Jeff Hylton, 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)
*Virtual* specialized support groups
Free; registration is required. These semi-structured support groups meet for about 8 weeks, and schedules are subject to change. If you are interested in a specific topic for a support group or workshop, please email Isabel Stenzel.
  • Spouse Loss Support Group (please email Christine Kovach for more information)
    Wednesdays, September 2–October 21, 2020 • 10:30am-noon
  • Resilience in Grief Support Group (please email Isabel Stenzel for more information)
    Thursdays, October 1–November 5, 2020 • 2-4pm
  • Writing Through Loss Support Group (please email Isabel Stenzel for more information; no experience necessary)
    Wednesdays, September 23–November 11, 2020 • 6-7:30pm
  • Chinese language (Mandarin and Cantonese) support group (please email Janice Huang for more information)
    Alternating Saturdays, November 7, 2020–March 13, 2021 • 10am-noon
    不露面哀傷支持小組,十月至二月,十次的網上會面。歡迎詢問與報名:黃潔雯 (628)800-4481 或    
  • Coping with the Holidays Support Group (please email Isabel Stenzel for more information)
    Mondays, November 16, 2020–January 4, 2021 • 6-7:30pm
  • Suicide Loss Support Group (please email Isabel Stenzel for more information)
    1st and 3rd Thursdays, 6-7:30pm
*Virtual* Workshops
Free; registration is required, unless otherwise indicated.
*Virtual* 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. Please email Christine Kovach for more information.
*Virtual* New to grief workshops
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.
*Virtual* Grief book club
Second Wednesday of the month, October 14, 2020–March 10, 2021 • noon-1:30pm 
This monthly lunchtime group is for those who like to read and discuss how stories relate to their own grief experience. Please email Isabel Stenzel for more information.
*Virtual* Grief and Stuff workshop
Monday, November 2, 2020 • 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. 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 Mission Hospice family members (adults and youth), by phone or video. We also offer play therapy for grieving children. $100 per session. Family members of our hospice clients receive eight sessions free. Our state license permits us to provide counseling only for family members living in California; we can provide referrals and resources for people who live outside of California. For more information, 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.