For Hospice and Other Caregivers

Companioning the Bereaved: An Introduction

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Editor’s note: The following article is excerpted from Dr. Wolfelt’s book, Companioning the Bereaved: A Soulful Guide for Caregivers, which presents a model for grief counseling based on his “companioning” principles. Companioning is not about assessing, analyzing, fixing or resolving another’s grief. Instead, it is about being totally present to […]

Helping Your Family Personalize the Funeral

By Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. If you are in the midst of planning a funeral, you may be feeling overwhelmed right now. Many details must be attended to. Many people must be contacted. Many decisions must be made. Your natural and necessary feelings of grief make these tasks even more difficult. Still, I encourage you […]

Finding the Right Words: Guidelines on How to Talk to Grieving Children about Death

By Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Through the years I have learned a great deal from many grieving children and their families. They have taught me which words work best when talking to children about death. Here are some general concepts I suggest companions use when talking with children about death, dying, grief, and mourning. Talk […]

What’s Your Love Language?

Identifying and Asking for the Most Effective Grief Support for You By Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. When it comes to our mourning and how others can best help us, there’s no one right way. That’s because every person and every loss is unique. Not only are each of us singular individuals with unique histories and […]

The Misconception of the Funeral as a Rite of Closure

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. Raise your hand if you’ve heard that funeral ceremonies help you achieve “closure.” It’s a common misconception. When someone we love dies, the death indeed ends—forever—our experience of live, bodily presence with that person. The body is dead. It’s true—something essential is finished. It is over. A door has closed. […]

The Journey Through Grief

The Mourner’s Six “Reconciliation Needs” by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. The death of someone loved changes our lives forever. And the movement from the “before” to the “after” is almost always a long, painful journey. From my own experiences with loss as well as those of the thousands of grieving people I have worked with […]

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