Bereavement 2021-08-19T14:24:28-07:00

bereavement support

What is the difference between bereavement vs grief?

Grief is the normal process of reacting to a loss. Grief can be in response to a physical loss, such as a death, or a social loss including a relationship or job. Bereavement is the period after a loss during which grief and mourning occurs. The time spent in bereavement for the loss of a loved one depends on the circumstances of the loss and the level of attachment to the person who died

Grief is unique for each person, yet there are some common grief responses:


  • Deep Fatigue
  • Sleep disruption
  • Appetite disturbance
  • Shortness of breath
  • Panic attacks
  • Tightness in throat or chest
  • Stomach pain and/or upset


  • Disbelief that loved one won’t return
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Poor Concentration
  • Sensing loved ones presence
  • Wishing for dreams or dreams of deceased
  • Current loss triggers renewed grief from previous deaths or losses


  • Desire to withdraw socially
  • Avoiding situations that arouse grief
  • Assuming new roles and losing others, e.g. becoming a “widow(er)”, or “orphan.”
  • Concern about burdening others  with ones grief
  • Need to tell and retell story of loss


  • Questioning meaning and purpose in life
  • Receiving “messages” from deceased
  • Feeling betrayed by ones higher power
  • Questions about the afterlife:
    • Where are they now?
    • Are they okay?
    • Can they see or hear me?
    • Will I see them again?
    • What will happen when I die


  • Riding an “emotional roller coaster”
  • Irritability
  • Extreme emotional vulnerability
  • Loneliness
  • Anger at deceased, medical staff or others
  • Guilt or regret about things that happened or didn’t happen
  • Apathy: feeling that “nothing’s any good.”
  • Fear that feeling happy disrespects or diminishes memory of deceased
  • Desire to join deceased
  • Relief that care-giving stress is over, or that deceased is no longer suffering


  • Assuming new responsibilities and losing others
  • Compulsion to “stay busy”
  • Difficulty completing tasks
  • Keeping deceased’s belongings intact
  • Looking at photos or videos
  • Listening to audio recordings of deceased
  • Talking to or searching for the deceased

Ongoing Programs

For program details and dates, visit our Calendar.

  • General Bereavement
  • Loss of Spouse / Partner
  • Loss of Child
  • Grief Groups for Children, Teen & Families

Email (click on hospice name):

Hospice of Amador & Calaveras: George Stathos, Bereavement Program Coordinator
Snowline Hospice: Susan Watson, Manager of Bereavement Services
Sutter Care at Home/Roseville:  Joy Goebel, Bereavement Program Coordinator
Sutter Care at Home/Sacramento:  John Compaglia, Bereavement Program Coordinator
U.C. Davis Hospice: Andrea Javist, Human Services Supervisor


Mesothelioma Center’s Coping with Grief Guide

On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler

The Wild Edge of Sorrow by Frances Weller

The Dougy Center – Grief resources and toolkits to support children and their caregivers who are grieving before and after death.

Six Major Myths of Grief from The Grief Recovery Handbook and When Children Grieve by Russell Friedman & John W. James (see Recovery Handbook listing below)

The 10 Best and 10 Worst Things to Say to Someone in Grief. with David Kessler

TED Talk By Nora McInerny – We Don’t Move on From Grief, We Move Forward

TED Talk by Jason B. Rosenthal – The Journey Through Loss and Grief

Partner Programs