(512) 342-4700

Bereavement Support Groups

Bereavement Support Groups

Online Drop-In Groups and 8-Week groups are taking place on Zoom! Please see below for more details. We will resume in-person groups when it is safe to do so. 

In addition to our online grief groups, please consider joining us for our monthly webinar Conversations on Grief.

Some people avoid support groups because they fear they’re not strong enough to hear about others’ grief, but a support group is one of the few places where you can find a community of people who really understand what you’re going through. Support groups can provide a safe, structured place where normal, healthy people bound by their experience of loss can come together to share stories and express and work through their feelings.

Most Hospice Austin support groups meet for eight weeks at our main office unless otherwise stated (4107 Spicewood Springs Rd., 78759). Groups are offered throughout the year. With the exception of our Drop-In Groups and Conversations on Grief Webinar, we recommend participants be at least 2-3 months out from their loss. However, please give us a call to register in advance even if your loss was very recent. Call (512) 342-4700 or (800) 445-3261 for more information or to register. Support groups are free. Donations are gratefully accepted.

You can check out our monthly listing of drop-in support groups here. Eight-week support groups are not listed on our events calendar; please call to register for our next series.

Drop-In Support Groups

Join us online through Zoom! Come as you are and any time you would like to be with others who are grieving. No rsvp is necessary and there is no commitment to attend a certain number of sessions. These groups are for any adult grieving the death of a loved one at any point after the loss. There is no cost to attend. **Please note, if this is your first time to attend a drop-in grief group, please call the Bereavement Dept. at least 24 hours in advance so we can provide you with information to join the group. 512-342-4700

Daytime: Tuesdays (noon-1 pm)
Evening: Wednesdays (7-8 pm)


8-Week Support Groups – Call us to pre-register so that you can be notified when the group is scheduled

  • Loss of Spouse/Partner Group – For those over 60 years old
  • Loss of Spouse/Partner Group – For those under 60 years old
  • Loss of Parent Group – For adults grieving the death of their mother or father
  • Loss of Sibling Group – For adults grieving the death of their brother or sister
  • Loss of Adult Child Group – For those grieving the death of an adult child
  • Healing Grief Holistically
    For those grieving the death of someone in their lives, this 8-week group uses group support and a Chinese Medicine/5 Element perspective to help heal the wounds of loss. Using a combination of movement, acupressure, essential oils and verbal processing, we encourage healing of the whole self. Each group focuses on a particular emotion commonly felt in grief such as hopelessness, depression, anxiety or fearParticipants learn specific techniques to work with and heal these challenging emotional states, as well as ways to cultivate joy and healing. This group is offered periodically.
  • Grief and Transformation Through Expressive Arts
    This 8-week group invites participants to use various creative activities as well as group processing to make meaning in a time of loss. Expressive Arts Therapy is a form of therapy that uses the creative arts (music, poetry, theater, writing, movement, and visual arts) as a healing tool. The focus is put on the experience or process rather than on final product. No prior creative art experience is required! This group is offered periodically.

Pre-register by calling 512-342-4700.


New Group Beginning in Early 2022:

Understanding Your Grief: 10 Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart Discussion Group

When someone you love dies, it can be hard to understand your often complex and painful thoughts and feelings. The Understanding Your Grief discussion group offers you an opportunity to listen, discover and explore how to understand, and befriend these painful and complex, yet normal, thoughts and feelings after the death of someone loved. Understanding Your Grief is based on Dr. Alan Wolfelt’s Ten Touchstones — basic principles to learn and actions to take to help you engage with your grief and create momentum toward healing.

Ten Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart

  1. Open to the presence of your loss.
  2. Dispel misconceptions about grief.
  3. Embrace the uniqueness of your grief.
  4. Explore your feelings of loss.
  5. Recognize you are not crazy.
  6. Understand the six needs of mourning.
  7. Nurture yourself.
  8. Reach out for help.
  9. Seek reconciliation, not resolution.
  10. Appreciate your transformation.

In addition, we will discuss the misconception of closure, complicated and traumatic grief, grief overload, coping with loneliness, the power of ritual, and more. Whether you are mourning a loss or are a caregiver providing support to those in grief, joining this discussion group will serve you well.

The group will meet on Zoom from 7:00 – 8:30 pm on Tuesdays, February 8th through April 12th.


Requirements for the Group

Pre-registration and the purchase of two books is required. In order to follow along with our discussion and to get the most out of our conversations, BEFORE our first discussion group on Feb. 8, 2022, you will need to order the books below. They are offered at a bundled price of $25. Pease let us know if the cost of the books would prevent you from attending! There is no cost to be a part of the group aside from the two books.

  • Understanding Your Grief (Second Edition)
  • The Understanding Your Grief Journal (Second Edition)

Click https://www.centerforloss.com/bookstore/understanding-your-grief-set-2/ to learn more and to place your order for BOTH the book and the journal.

Registration
If you have any questions or would like to register for the group, please call Bereavement Supervisor Maggie Cochran at 512-342-4784 to complete a short intake or ask any questions you may have.

Optional Informal Gathering
You are invited to meet the facilitators as they discuss the importance of the 10 Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart. This will give you a chance to preview the book and the journal, ask questions and learn a few of the many topics and tools that will be covered during the 10-week discussion group, topics like:

  • Surviving the Early Days
  • A Word About Faith and Spirituality
  • Companioning Versus Treating
  • What is Healing In Grief
  • No Reward for Speed
  • Grief is Not a Disease
  • Dispelling the Misconceptions About Grief

Register here for this informational gathering! – An Introduction to the 10 Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart Class – Tuesday, January 11, 2022 (7:00 – 8:30 pm)
There is no cost to attend this gathering nor commitment to participating in the 10-week group. Attendance is optional. Register here.

Questions
Please reach out to Bereavement Supervisor Maggie Cochran at 512-342-4784 or mcochran@hospiceaustin.org with any questions or to register.

Meet Your Facilitators
Patty Reis – Life. Love. Loss….and learning to live and love again. This is how Patty views her life now. On January 1, 2012, Patty’s life changed in an instant. Her two oldest children, David and Karen, were murdered by the same man on the same night. One died trying to save the other. It is in their memory that she carries on — and lives fully, with love — every single day.

Patty holds a Death and Grief Studies Certification from the Center for Loss and Life Transition under the direction of Alan D Wolfelt, Ph.D. She expands her understanding of the body of knowledge, about being with people in grief, by learning from the best:  Dr. Alan Wolfelt, H. Norman Wright, and Patricia Vitiello. She tends to her own grief by attending retreats, journaling, reading, and hiking. Patty now shares what she’s learned by holding space for others in grief, facilitating support groups, and leading retreats in person and online.

Garrick Colwell has been a Hospice Volunteer since 1987, serving as an on-call hospital and hospice chaplain. He is a Respecting Choices® Person-Centered Care First Steps® Advance Care Planning Certified Instructor and Facilitator.

As a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, Garrick co-created with Hospice Austin Conversations On Grief, a monthly online grief support program. He is a Certified Grief Educator by David Kessler at grief.com and holds a Death and Grief Studies Certification from the Center for Loss and Life Transition under the direction of Alan D Wolfelt, Ph.D.

Garrick is the co-Creator of Kitchen Table Conversations a nonprofit providing education and resources that empower people to have conversations about Advance Care Planning, End of Life and Grief. Garrick s a widower and served his late wife Kinsloe as her patient advocate, caregiver, and end of life companion. Recently he lost his dad Bob. Garrick can be reached at 512-787-3402 or garrick@KitchenTableConversations.org


Day of Renewal: A Creative & Experiential Exploration of Grief

This special day includes group sessions using gentle movement, aromatherapy, art, and writing. The movement practice is suitable for all fitness levels and an affinity for all of the activities is not a pre-requisite! However participants will move through the activities together in groups. Cost is $20 and includes breakfast, lunch and snacks. Scholarships are available. This group is offered 1-2 times a year. The next Day of Renewal will tentatively take place in 2022 either in person or on Zoom. To get on the interest list, please call the Bereavement Department at 512-342-4700.