Grief Counseling Support Group

Jefferson Memorial has partnered with Seven Oaks to hold a bereavement support group once a month at the Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home. Our support group is aimed towards the to families that our funeral home has served over the past month as well as the Seven Oaks clients and families in need of support, guidance and community.

Please know that there is no specific timeline for your grief.  You will do it in your own time and your own way. But we also know that some people may benefit from special bereavement support group services and we wanted to let you know that we offer these services to you at Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home.  We are privileged to partner with Seven Oak’s Hospice Care and were honored that you entrusted us with the care of your loved one. We would be honored to help you further by inviting you to participate in our bereavement support group.


If you feel that our bereavement support services may be beneficial to you and/or your family, please be sure to RSVP as soon as possible by calling the funeral home at 412.655.4501 Please call ahead, as seating is limited to the first 20 respondents, but walk-ins will never be turned away. We look forward to seeing you and we are deeply honored to continue to serve you and your family. Our next monthly bereavement support group session will be held:

Bereavement Support Group Meeting

Where: Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home

          301 Curry Hollow Road

          Pittsburgh, PA 15236


When: Tuesday September 8, 2015 at 7:00p.m. in the evening

Who is Encouraged to Participate: Anyone who has experienced a loss

Jefferson Memorial is working on offering a pet bereavement group with Three Rivers Hospice. Three Rivers Hospice has a pet therapy program and their lead therapy dog, Anastasia, passed away on St. Patrick’s Day 2015.  They do so many events around the city of Pittsburgh as well as visiting hospitals around the city and surrounding suburbs to bring comfort and joy to those in need.  Their phrase for Anastasia and now their newest pup, Arianna, is “bringing smiles to those who need them”. 


Grief Resources

Each of us, regardless of our station in life, experience times of great sorrow and loss. Each of us deals with those losses in our own way. Some are easier to deal with than others, but each of these transitions change our lives in very definite ways. Some events that come to mind are:

  • The death of a parent, child or spouse
  • Diagnosis of a chronic or terminal illness
  • A serious decline in the health of someone you love
  • Retirement
  • Moving, Death of a pet
  • Having to give up a portion of your independence or a significant activity

These losses are a part of life. But, like all loss, these transitions can be painful and grief is a logical response to these transitions. They are interposed around the joyful moments in life and are a part of what it is to have a life well lived. Acceptance of and journeying through these moments and emotions can be difficult, but in the end, there is freedom and peace.

Grief and Healing

We grieve because we love. If we didn’t love, grief would not be necessary. Healing doesn’t mean not missing or remembering that person we loved any more. To the contrary, healing is learning to live a new ‘normal’ without that person in your life anymore. Healing can’t happen if you don’t express your grief. Suppression and denial of your grief can cause your grief to become overwhelming. Choose to move toward healing. Grieving takes time. It’s a process. It ebbs and flows. When someone you love dies, your life is permanently changed. Happiness and joy will come again. Sadness will not last forever. But be patient with yourself. Death changes people. It changes you. A sense of normalcy will return, but it will be a ‘new’ normal. "The experience of grief is powerful. So, too, is your ability to help yourself heal. In doing the work of grieving, you are moving toward a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in you life." —Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt, Center for Loss and Life Transition



Grief can encompass a multitude of emotions

Significant loss comes with significant emotions.  Loss affects every part of your life - physical, emotional, spiritual.  As a result, you might experience a myriad of emotions as you go through your grieving process.  You could experience relief, guilt, sorrow, fear, confusion or disorganization.  Some of these emotions could be explosive.  You might feel them, individually, at different times, over long periods or short bursts.  Or you could experience them all at once.  Believe it or not, this is totally healthy.

Grief can also sneak up on you.  It can show up at the most unexpected times, in small pangs or overwhelming surges.  When that happens, it can be frightening or taxing, but it is important to allow yourself to experience those feelings.  Go with it.  Learn from it.  Talk about it with a friend, someone who understands.  A support network is so important when you are grieving the loss of someone important to you.

Grieving is a Process

Loss is a part of life.  Eventually, each of us will suffer a major loss.  When we experience that loss, we experience grief.  Grief comes in various forms, and everyone experiences it in their own way.  This is normal and a natural path.  However, grief also has some common traits that everyone experiences at one time or another.

You might have heard of the stages of grief.  When someone experiences a major loss, they can move through them - shock, numbness, guilt, anger and denial.  In my experience, these feelings are fluid and you might not experience them in that order, nor is there a formula for how much time you spend on each stage.  When someone is grieving, they might also have physical symptoms of their grief play out in their lives as well.  Some of the physical symptoms could include insomnia, lack of appetite, an inability to concentrate, depression or a lack of interest in taking part in favorite activities.

Grieving takes time.  Losing someone who is important to you is a life-altering event.  As time passes, you may cycle through the various stages of grief.  You might also experience some or even ALL of the physical symptoms as well.  You might visit some of the stages of grief more than once, and you might think you are okay, and a song or a photograph triggers a memory that ushers in a fresh wave of sorrow.  It is a process….a process that isn’t completed overnight.  When you allow yourself to experience these thoughts and feelings, and accept them as a part of that loss, you are moving forward - forward toward healing and accepting a ‘new’ normal in your life.

When you experience a major loss, it can be devastating.  It’s hard, it hurts and it can be incredibly difficult to just get out bed in the morning and face the day.  It can be overwhelming and you can easily become bogged down in those feelings.  If you find that you are having a hard time dealing with the basic functions in your life or having a hard time reconnecting with your friends after a few months have passed, you might want to consider seeking professional help.  Depression can be debilitating.  If you continue to experience physical symptoms of grief, months after loss, it may be time to seek the assistance of a physician.


Hospice Partnerships

Jefferson Memorial is proud to partner with Seven Oaks Hospice. Together, Jefferson Memorial and Seven Oaks work towards education, planning and outreach and support for all those we serve. Thanks to this partnership, we are happy to offer a savings certificate to all families at Seven Oaks Hospice.  To learn more, please contact Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home at 412.655.4501.