Traumatic Death Services

The death of a loved one is a devastating experience that often leaves people feeling completely alone. It can seem impossible to cope with the grief and the pain following an unnatural death. Feelings of shock and disbelief are normal. Some other reactions may include:

  • Disturbing memories/dreams
  • Guilt
  • Sense of helplessness
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Inability to concentrate or complete routine tasks
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Deep sadness
  • Changes in eating patterns
  • Depression

Sudden, Traumatic Death Services

Virginia Mason Grief Services offers individual and group services after sudden traumatic death (such as homicide, suicide, accident and overdose).

  • Short-term individual therapy
  • Ten-week traumatic death support groups: no cost to join, and pre-registration is required
  • Information and referral
  • Community trainings
  • Community critical incident debriefings

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.

Traumatic Death Community Outreach

Virginia Mason Grief Services provides traumatic death community outreach to organizations, including:

  • High Schools: debrief and consultation
  • Housing Organizations: debrief and consultation
  • Retirement Communities: overview of grief responses, debrief and consultation
  • First Responders (Fire Department, Law Enforcement, Chaplains and EMTs): overview of grief responses, debrief and consultation

For more information, please complete our request for services form, or call Laura Jeffs at (206) 223-6398.


“This was a tremendous help with processing the deep and intolerable pain that comes from the violent and sudden death of a loved one. I don’t know how I’d be living my life without having had this service to help cope. I’m very fortunate to have had the help I found at Grief Services.” — CLIENT