Loss of any kind is never easy, but it may help knowing where you can turn during this difficult time.

The Grief Journey
Experiencing the loss of a loved one often means life as you know it has changed. You may find yourself grappling with how to adjust to these changes while longing for things to be the way they used to be. It is natural to feel a range of deep emotions in the days, weeks, months, and years following a loved one’s death. Though social pressures may urge you to move along and “get over” your grief, it is important to understand that your grief is real and natural and you will heal in your own time.

Coping with Loss
Key steps to alleviate the pain of loss include, but are not limited to: seeking support from family and friends; intentionally taking care of yourself; allowing yourself to express your grief and finding ways to remember and honor your loved one. Bereavement counseling may also help by providing you with a safe space and dedicated time to process your grief, by learning coping tools, and receiving support as you adjust to life after loss.

Support Groups
You do not have to grieve alone. You may be interested in receiving support with your loss while connecting with others who are also on their grief journey. Group support is a fundamental way to combat isolation and recognize the normal grief process. Click here to see a list of current and upcoming Bereavement Support Groups. Check out what past group members are saying about their experience in VNA Health grief support groups by clicking here.

Available to Anyone in the Community
At VNA Health, all bereavement services are available to anyone in the community who has experienced the death of a loved one. Bereavement services include: individual counseling, support groups, an annual Community Memorial Service, information, and referrals. There is no charge for any of our services thanks to generous contributions. Donations are always welcome.

Don’t live in Santa Barbara?
If you live outside of Santa Barbara County and would like to utilize grief support, try contacting your local hospice. You may search for your local hospice provider through nhpco.org. Hospices often offer bereavement support to the community and/or can refer you to local bereavement support. Please know that our bereavement staff can also assist you in finding grief support in your area.

Is your loved one on our hospice care?
Our bereavement counselors are a part of the Hospice Care Team. If your loved one is on hospice, please know that we are available to provide support to you as you care for your loved one and anticipate their death. Early Bereavement/Anticipatory Grief/Caregiver Support is available to you upon request. Following your loved one’s death our bereavement support is available to you and includes; individual and/or family counseling, a variety of support groups, and mailings of supportive literature, information and referrals.

A bilingual counselor is available to provide support in Spanish. Una consejera bilingüe está disponible para proveer ayuda en español. Llame a Mara Petrick, LCSW al 805.690.6296.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with a bereavement counselor, email bereavement@vna.health or call our general bereavement number 805.308.9602. A counselor will respond to you within one business day.


In the midst of our heartbreak and loss, our family was comforted and cared for by our new-found extended family, [VNA Health] and all of you who support this treasured and trusted organization. [VNA Health] was there when we needed them. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

– The Yossem-Guy family