San Francisco Village Grief Program
At SFV, we believe that a healthy expression of grief is communal. It requires that we honor the loss with simple rituals, by telling the story and being generously witnessed in our pain, so that we can move towards healing.
“There are three needs of the griever: To find the words for the loss, to say the words aloud, and know that the words have been heard.”
-Victoria Alexander, In the Wake of Suicide: Stories of the People Left Behind
Consistent with our values of mutual support, reciprocity, empathy, and volunteerism, SFV is proud to continue the legacy of Patrick Arbore, who started offering grief support nearly 40 years ago. Patrick was a member of SFV, a former SFV board member, donor and strong supporter of our community. He died May 27, 2023.
Beginning in 1987, Patrick developed a model for peer-to-peer grief groups, believing that grief requires connection and community in order to transform. When grief lingers in silence, unacknowledged by others, it goes underground and registers as pain, rage, isolation and shame.
“When we are in touch with all of our emotions, we are more verb than noun, more a movement than a thing. But when grief stagnates, we become fixed in place, unable to move and dance with the flow of life. Grief is part of the dance.”
-Francis Weller, The Wild Edge of Sorrow
Current Program Offerings
If you or someone you care about is struggling with the loss of a loved one, please consider one of the following virtual programs. We offer a sliding scale fee schedule so that no one is excluded because of their ability to pay.
Eight-week Traumatic Loss Grief Group – For people in 12 Step Recovery
The next 8-week Grief Group for people in 12 Step Recovery will begin on March 14, 2024. It will meet on 8 consecutive Thursdays from 5:00 – 7:00 PM.
Traumatic loss may include death as a natural occurrence, but also death by suicide, homicide, accident and/or physical illness. This is a closed group for adults of any age who are in any 12 Step program. There will be a structured format for each session. Groups are offered on a sliding scale. $50/$25/$10 per session or $400/$200/$80 for all eight sessions.
Eight-week Traumatic Loss Grief Group (not yet scheduled)
Eight weekly sessions exploring traumatic loss, including but not limited to loss by suicide, homicide, accident and/or physical illness. This is a closed group for adults of any age with a structured format for each session. Groups offered on a sliding scale. $50/$25/$10 per session or $400/$200/$80 for all eight sessions.
Saturday Morning Drop-in Grief Group
Drop-in groups are offered for adults of any age that have experienced loss. While there is a focus on traumatic loss, the groups are available to all grievers. Groups are led by trained peer support facilitators. Suggested donation $20/$10 per session. Saturday morning 10:30 am – 12 pm.
Monthly Traumatic Loss Drop-in Group
Once a month drop-in group for those who have completed the eight-week Traumatic Loss Grief Group. This group is available to participants even years after they have completed the basic group. Suggested donation $25/$10 per session. Last Friday of the month 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
Please click here to learn more about grief groups.