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Grief Support

As a not-for-profit organization, we are committed to providing free bereavement services, not only to the families of our patients but to our entire community. We offer traditional emotional support counseling as well as innovative programs for children, teens and adults which address the wide range bereavement experiences.

Grief Support Groups & Classes

About Grief

As a not-for-profit organization, we are committed to providing free bereavement services, not only to the families of our patients but to our entire community. We offer traditional emotional support counseling as well as innovative programs for children, teens and adults which address the wide range bereavement experiences.

Perhaps the greatest gift handed to us by the grief process is the opportunity to move forward into a new understanding of ourselves. When we emerge from grieving the loss of a loved one, we embrace our lives from a slightly different perspective. From this new vantage point we find ourselves re-engaging in ways we never expected or even thought possible. The process of grieving can be a time of rebirth, renewal and growth. Hospice of the East Bay continues to grow alongside the adults, children and teens we guide through their grief experience.

Grieving the death of a loved one can be a painful and lonely experience. It can change our world by altering our relationships with others, and our own sense of identity. Our daily habits are disrupted, activities associated with specific roles are lost, and life plans are derailed in the wake of significant loss. Frequently, it is difficult for us to know if the feelings and reactions we are experiencing are normal ones.

Our society encourages us to “get over it and get on with life.” This leads to further pain and isolation. Grief is the natural response to profound loss and is the expression of the strong bond you had with the person who died. No two people grieve in exactly the same way. The way we express our grief is influenced by many things, such as:

  • The circumstances of the death
  • The relationship with the deceased
  • One’s culture, religion and personal beliefs
  • How we have dealt with previous losses
Grief, the natural response to a loss, is actually a whole array of feelings that deserve attention and care. Some normal grief responses include:

Physical

  • Tightness in the throat
  • Heaviness in the chest
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Altered sleep Patterns

Emotional

  • Tightness in the throat
  • Heaviness in the chest
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Altered sleep patterns

Mental

  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty believing the death occurred
  • Inability to complete previously simple tasks

Other

  • Expecting the loved one to call
  • Sensing the loved one’s presence, seeing him or hearing her voice
  • Intense preoccupation with the deceased or how he or she died

The period of grieving is a natural part of the process of healing after a loss. Healing is possible when we allow ourselves to identify and understand our feelings as they arise. Participating in grief education classes and individual or group counseling can:

  • Enhance the healing process
  • Reduce the sense of isolation
  • Provide the opportunity to share experiences, thoughts and feelings with others who are in similar situations
  • Lead to personal growth
  • Learn about the grieving process
  • Visit your physician to make sure physical symptoms do not indicate an illness.
  • Get plenty of rest. Nap if you aren’t sleeping well at night.
  • Spend time out of doors.
  • Exercise. Take a daily walk or go for a short bike ride.
  • Try to establish a daily routine.
  • Eat a nourishing diet and drink plenty of water.
  • Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation.
  • Use prescribed sleeping aides or other medications only as prescribed.
  • Give voice to your feelings.
  • Talk to people who give you permission to have your thoughts and feelings without judging you.
  • Write about your experience.
  • Write to your loved one.
  • Give yourself permission to not participate in social activities if you do not feel like it.
  • Ask for help.
  • Participate in support groups or grief education classes.

Find out more about our services.

Understanding Grief

This class discusses grief and its natural process, as well as the broad range of common grief reactions. The information presented is helpful for people who are recently bereaved, experiencing grief years after a death, or wanting to support a bereaved friend. 

The class is open to anyone in the community. Please call (925) 887-5678 or email us at  to learn more.

General Loss

This ongoing bi-monthly group meets twice per month to provide support for adults (18+) grieving the death of someone close to them.


1st & 3rd Tuesdays of each month, 6:00-7:30 pm
This is a virtual support group; please see instructions above.

The Bridge

This eight-week support group is for any child, teen, and their adult parent or guardian who has experienced the death of someone important in their lives. Children and teens grieve differently than adults do. For this reason, we offer a support group based on the notion that children feel most supported when listened to and understood by their peers. This group is offered several times throughout the calendar year.

Registration and a short phone assessment are required; dates of sessions will be distributed at that time. Please call (925) 887-5678 or email us at  to learn more.

Parent Loss

This eight-week support group is for any adult who has experienced the death of one or both parents. This group is ideal for those who have already experienced the early stages of their grief journey and is open to those who are at least three months past the death of their parent(s). This group is offered several times throughout the calendar year. Space is limited. A short phone assessment is required before registration is complete.

Please call (925) 887-5678 or email  for more information.

Spouse & Partner Loss

This eight-week support group is for any adult who has experienced the death of a spouse or partner. This group is ideal for those who have already experienced the early stages of their grief journey and is open to those who are at least three months past the death of their spouse. This group is offered several times throughout the calendar year. Space is limited. A short phone assessment is required before registration is complete.

Please call (925) 887-5678 or email  for more information.

Mindfulness, Meditation & Meaning

Grief is often compared to waves. Just like waves, grief ebbs and flows; in between, we can find moments of balance. This eight-week grief support group uses short meditation, mindfulness and journaling exercises to facilitate balance in the midst of grief. Space is limited. A short phone assessment is required prior to participation.

Registration required. Please call (925) 887-5678 or email us at  to learn more.

Next Steps

Next Steps is a support group for individuals emerging from their first year of grief, which can often be one of transition, challenge and isolation. Grieving during a pandemic has added to the challenge. Many were unable to be with loved ones during their final moments, or to gather with family and community to collectively grieve. The world has been in isolation and everyone is tentatively taking next steps in life. This six-week group is designed with that in mind. 

Registration required. Please call (925) 887-5678 or email us at  to learn more.

Hiking Thru Grief

Hiking Through Grief is an informal support group for adults (18+) who have experienced the death of a friend or family member, and those who support them. Our hikes are casual, fun and relaxing. Hikers are encouraged, but not required, to share their stories and insights.


Sunday, July 10, 2022, 8am – 11am

Please RSVP via Meetup.com  or call (925) 887-5678 for details.

After A Loved One Dies

One of the most daunting aspects of the grief journey starts at the very beginning. This class offers important information on the various legal and financial tasks that need to be completed after the death of a loved one. You will also gain an understanding of how we respond to feelings of loss and ideas for how to support others on their own grief journey.

The class is open to anyone in the community. Please call (925) 887-5678 or email us at  to learn more.

Talk to someone.

Fill out this form and someone will be in touch with you promptly. Call to learn more today:  (925) 887-5678