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 Widows and Widowers, led by Tracie Pyers, MSW
*The outside doors to the Mission Hospice office building now lock at 5:30 p.m. on weekdays. To access the support group 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 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, contact Isabel at or 650.931.8236.
  • Parent Loss Support Group
    Supports adults who have lost a parent.
  • Spouse/Partner Loss Support Group – San Carlos
    Supports those grieving the loss of a partner.
  • Resilience in Grief: From Surviving to Thriving
    For adults who have been grieving a loss for at least six months.
  • Suicide Loss Support Group
    Supports those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
  • Writing Through Loss Support Group
    Wednesday evenings, June 19–August 7, 2019 • 6:30-8pm
    Participants explore grief through writing; no experience necessary.
Free; donations gratefully accepted. These workshops are in San Mateo unless otherwise indicated. Registration is required; for details and to register, contact Isabel at or 650.931.8236.
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
Saturday, April 6, 2019 • 1-2:30pm
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.


In Memory: Honoring Our Loved Ones Together

A community memorial service for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one
Sunday, June 2, 2019 • 4-5:30pm
College Heights Church, 1150 W. Hillsdale Blvd, San Mateo
All are welcome
Children’s program provided

Individual grief counseling

For families of patients served by Mission Hospice, we offer eight free sessions of individual counseling. Additional sessions, and all sessions for community members, are $100 each.

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. Fees are $150 per session, with a sliding scale as needed.

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.