Bereavement and Grief Counseling


Bereavement is what a person goes through when someone close to them dies. It’s the state of having suffered a loss. The person who has lost someone is said to be bereaved.


When a person loses someone important to them, they go through a normal process called grieving. Over time, it can help the person accept and understand their loss.

Losing someone or something you love or care deeply about is very painful. You may experience all kinds of difficult emotions and it may feel like the pain and sadness you’re experiencing will never let up. These are normal reactions to a significant loss. But while there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can renew you and permit you to move on.

What is bereavement counseling?

Bereavement counseling is designed to help people cope more effectively with the death of a loved one. Specifically, bereavement counseling can:

offer an understanding of the mourning process

explore areas that could potentially prevent you from moving on

help resolve areas of conflict still remaining

help you to adjust to a new sense of self

address possible issues of depression or suicidal thoughts.

You will probably never stop missing the person you lost, but with enough time and the right support, a new life can be pieced together and purpose can be reclaimed.

Bereavement counseling aims to get you to the point where you can function normally – however long it takes. One day, you may be able to find happiness again. By creating a place to keep the person you lost, and finding ways to remember them (like anniversary celebrations, or leaving flowers at a memorial site), you should be able to preserve their memory and honour the impact they had on your life, without letting their absence obscure your own future.

With time, pain does settle.

Bereavement and Grief Counseling

These programs are open to all members of the community free of charge, regardless of whether St. Luke Missionary Hospice was involved in their earlier loss.

  • For family members: We work directly with family members, including children, to process all the events surrounding the end-of-life.
  • Care for grieving children: St. Luke Missionary Hospice’s Care staff utilize a variety of techniques to facilitate a child’s understanding of death and help him or her to express feelings.
  • Support groups: Peer support is available through 6-week sessions and open-ended groups.
  • 13-months of support: Bereavement counselors and volunteers follow up for 13 months after a loss.
  • Bereavement library: We have an extensive library of books and videos on the topic of grief, bereavement and recovery.
  • Community resources: We are able to connect people with other local organizations that can help with long term counseling.