What is Grief:

A normal, natural, and necessary reaction to loss of any kind; especially the loss of a loved one.

What are some normal grief reactions:

Grief is unique to each person, but there are some similarities. Grief effects us physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

You may feel:
Lack of Purpose
Lack of Energy and Ability to Concentrate
Change in Eating Habits
Change in Sleeping Habits
Jealousy of Others
Strengthen in Faith/Weaken in Faith


In order to experience healing, you have to experience grief.
Grief is the price we pay for love.
The sooner you feel, the sooner you heal.
Cry when you have to and laugh when you can.
Grief is a process and journey.
You don't get over it (grief), but you do get through it somehow.
Pain is a part of healing.
Healing is making peace with your life.
Faith is the most important aspect of the bereavement process.

Grieve and Hope:

After the death of a loved one, your life has been changed because of your loss. Over time, your grief will change too. It will soften. You will not always feel as you do at this moment. Just because life has changed, doesn't mean it is ruined. There is HOPE and HEALING. First you must feel and grieve. To heal, you must express your sadness for as long as it takes. Accept the likelihood of pain.

Loss hurts beyond what words can express. In time and with hard work, the good days will begin to out number the bad days. You will survive this as many others have too. There is life after death for your loved one. That is our faith. There is also life after loss for you! The day will come when y0u will know deep inside that you have regained your sense of balance, journeyed through the grief process, and are ready to move on with a good and whole life. On that day, you will be a stronger person than you have ever been before.

How can I help someone who is grieving?

The Christian faithful comfort mourners with words of faith and support and acts of kindness (Order of Christian Funeral, #10)
  1. Give them your listening presence. Support is based more on effective listening than on any words you may say.
  2. Convey caring and genuine concern.
  3. Give them permission to grieve and to express their feelings. Allow them to talk. Don't be afraid of their tears.
  4. Remember with them. Share stories, memories, and photos. Use the deceased loved one's name.
  5. Give children truthful information regarding death and use age appropriate words.
  6. Offer continuing support. Especially offer support around holidays and difficult days: birthdays, anniversaries, and the anniversary of the death.
  7. Visit, telephone, and write them. Grieving people need time alone also to remember their loved ones and to process their grief.
  8. Avoid using cliches. Speak from your heart.
  9. Offer to take the grieving person ot for a little bit - store, restaurant, library, cemetery, etc.
  10. Pray for them. Offer to attend church with them. Give them a book of poems and prayers.



St. Elizabeth Hospital, Belleville
618-234-2120, ext. 1091

New Day - A eight-week seminar for women and men going through the stages of grieving due to the death of a spouse or family member.
Compassionate Friends - A support group for parents of any age who have lost a child of any age to death. The self-help group meets the third
Friday of every month at 7:30pm.
TAG - The Teen Age Grief support group offers a support program to the bereaved teenager in an atmosphere that is safe and familiar.
Kids Time - A support group for children ages 6 -13 years old who have lost a loved one. The group meets for a six-week program on Monday
evenings from 6:30-8pm.
Share - A support group for parents of a miscarriage, stillborn or loss of a baby. The group meets the second Thursday of every month at 7:30pm.

St. Joseph Hospital, Breese

Sr. Dorothy Niemann

Individual Bereavement Counseling and Cancer Support offered as requested. Grief Support Group meets 3rd Tuesday of each month. Contact Sr. Virginia

St. Joseph Memorial Hospital, Murphysboro
618 - 684 - 3156, ext. 55360

Bereavement Support offered through the spiritual care department on an individual basis.

Good Samaritan Hospital, Mt. Vernon

Good Samaritan Hospital offers a 6 week bereavement support group.
Contact Sr. Denise Sharp

Bereavement Support Group - Sponsored by the Central Christian Church in Mt. Vernon, 10th and North Street.
Contact the Church for additional information.

"Rainbow" Program

Rainbow's For All God's Children - Bereavement program for children in parochial elementary schools. Rainbow's For Children - Bereavement program for children in public elementary schools.

Mt. Carmel Cemetary, Belleville

Grief Support Group

Hospice of Southern Illinois

Offers bereavement support on an individual basis.

Contact the hospice in your local area. Bereavement counseling is a service component of hospice care.

Copyright © Catholic Ministry To Sick And Aged
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