Grief Services

The death of a loved one can be devastating for those left behind. If you have lost someone suddenly and traumatically — through suicide, homicide, an accident or an overdose — your loss can feel completely overwhelming.

The Grief Services program at Virginia Mason is here to help you. We offer grief groups and individual therapy specifically focused on sudden and traumatic loss.

Grief comes in many forms, including feelings of guilt, sadness, helplessness, anger and depression. In addition, a sudden, traumatic death often causes shock, disbelief and recurring images of the death, often resulting in difficultly sleeping, inability to concentrate, and isolation from loved ones.

The grief journey is different for everyone. When a loved one dies traumatically and without warning, receiving the support and care from those who understand this particular kind of mourning can be reassuring.

Grief Groups for Sudden, Traumatic Deaths

Virginia Mason offers free grief groups for individuals impacted by a sudden death. Each group has approximately eight people, meeting two hours a week for 10 weeks. Groups are held at Virginia Mason Seattle or one of our regional medical centers.

Each group is led by an experienced, caring therapist who guides conversations on topics including: how you’ve changed since the death, new family dynamics, changes in your social supports, and religious or spiritual beliefs. Supportive techniques are used to help move through the difficult emotions surrounding the death. 

Upcoming grief groups for Sudden, Traumatic Death:

Jan. 9 – March 12, 2020 (Thursdays, 4-6 p.m. at Horizon House, Seattle)
May 4 – July 13, 2020 (Mondays, 2-4 p.m. at Virginia Mason Kirkland)

Use our Sudden Traumatic Death Therapy form to receive more information. Or call Grief Services at (206) 223-6398.

Individual, Short-Term Therapy

Virginia Mason also offers individual counseling for those who have lost a loved one through sudden and traumatic death.

A caring, experienced counselor will meet you one-on-one to explore your experiences after the death of your loved one by walking beside you on your grief journey and offering coping strategies.

Each counseling session is one hour, and clients are typically seen between six and 12 weeks. Longer-term support is also available as needed.

For more information, contact program coordinator Laura Jeffs at (206) 223-6398 or