Friends and family lost to sudden death or long-term illness leave a void in the lives of those left behind.
Not eating or sleeping well? Unable to concentrate? Feel angry, forgetful, or numb to people and events around you? Feel abandoned? Emotions of guilt or regret? Tears at unexpected times?
Grief is the normal and natural response to a loss. Normal grief responses include appetite loss, difficulty sleeping, feelings of guilt or regret, lack of concentration, mood changes, numbness and crying. It will continue to affect our lives and the lives of those around us adversely when we are forced to accept the many myths about grief such as:
“It just takes time.”
“You can replace the loss.”
“You need to be strong for others.”
“You just need to stay busy."
INTEGRIS’ grief support program will provide a step-by-step approach for those who wish to resolve their loss issues and soften the pain of their loss. Meeting once a week for six weeks, these groups are led by licensed professional counselors specializing in the field of grief and loss.
Grief support groups are provided by INTEGRIS Hospice. They are open to the community, confidential, and offered at no cost to participants. For more information, please call 405-848-8884.
Upcoming meetings of our grief support groups
If you have experienced the death of a loved one, grief is the normal and natural response to loss. INTEGRIS Hospice provides on-going grief support.
Conducted by Reverend Bob Willis, B.A., Theology, the six-week free evening program provides a step-by-step approach for those who wish to resolve their loss issues and move beyond their grief toward a richer quality of life.
Dates: April 21 through May 26 (Thursday evenings)
Time: 6:15 to 7:30 p.m.
Place: INTEGRIS Cancer Institute of Oklahoma, Conference Rooms D and E (southwest end of building)
5911 W. Memorial Road • Oklahoma City, OK 73142
To enroll: Call the INTEGRIS Health Line to register 951-2277. Program is free of charge; space is limited.
Willis is the former Hospice of Oklahoma County Bereavement Coordinator. During that time, he was voted Spiritual Counselor of the Year in 2008 by the Oklahoma Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Willis provided grief support following the Oklahoma City bombing, Nairobi Embassy bombing and the 9/11 attack in New York City.
Since his retirement, Willis has led grief workshops and groups, speaking at conferences around the country. An accomplished sculptor and author, he wrote The Ultimate Caregiver: Words from The Cross to the Caregiver’s Heart, released in November 2008 (second edition 2014).
Normal grief responses include appetite loss, difficulty sleeping, feelings of guilt or regret, lack of concentration, mood changes, numbness or crying.
Support Group FAQs
What is the purpose of a grief group?
The purpose of a grief group is to provide techniques for dealing with grief; to provide support for the process of grief; to provide an environment to meet other people who are grieving; and to identify support systems.
Who may participate in the group?
Anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one, whether it’s hospice-related or not. Due to the nature of the materials we cover, it’s preferred that the participants are older teens and above. Younger children can be referred to community resources who deal specifically with children and their unique grief responses.
Is there a cost to be in the group?
No. Because we are a non-profit hospice agency, we provide these groups free of charge to anyone in our community who is dealing with a loss.
What are the time frames for the groups?
Each group meets once per week for six weeks. Each session is one-and-a-half hours in length. Sometimes we offer a daytime group and another group in the evening hours. These groups are held in various locations around the Oklahoma City metro area.
Can people join the group at any time?
Because of the progressive nature of the materials being covered, it is preferable that new people not join the group after the second session.
Do you have ground rules for the group?
Yes. The ground rules are simple and basic. First, we respect confidentiality of everyone in the group; second, it is expected that each participant be honest with themselves in this process. Then, we must allow each person the freedom to grieve according to their own personality. All of these ground rules are built upon the premise of respect for one another.
How do I register for a group?
Call the INTEGRIS Health Line to register 951-2277. Program is free of charge; space is limited.