Grief: Healing After Loss
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Matthew 5:4)
The loss of a loved one through death or divorce can be devastating, especially for children and teens who need support. Jesus' life, death and resurrection offers consolation when we realize that our loved ones have a chance at eternal happiness with God. We can also reach out to the Blessed Mother in our time of pain and grief, as she understood the depth of loss after losing her only Son.
Through each stage of grief and healing, there is also one-on-one support for you and your loved ones through the Family Life Office's Healing Hearts ministry. Healing Hearts is comprised of trained facilitators, who have lived through and adjusted to loss themselves, offering spiritual and emotional support to adults and children who have lost a loved one through death, divorce or separation.
Members of Healing Hearts ministry will provide support with the belief that Jesus Christ remains with us through crisis; that a new beginning is possible.
Healing Hearts Support for Adults. Subjects covered by the Healing Hearts ministry for adults include: the grieving process, dealing with shock, denial, fear and anger, depression and rejection. Healing Hearts also confronts practical issues such seeking a new way of life, learning how to handle responsibilities previously taken care of by the missing partner, single parenting, and rebuilding self esteem. Healing Hearts is for both men and women who are grief-stricken after experiencing the loss of any kind including death of a family member or friend, loss of a job, or any event that leaves a person heartbroken. For those seeking support after a divorce, please see our Divorce Recovery ministries.
Healing Hearts for Children and Teens. Children are often the "forgotten" mourners when a loved one dies. Children or teens who have lost a parent through death or from divorce grieve differently than adults and should not grieve alone through such a traumatic period. Without adequate support, children may grow up to be more at risk for promiscuity, drug abuse, depression or even suicide.
Through Healing Hearts, counselors and trained facilitators are there to help children and teens through the grieving process. Through Healing Hearts for Children and Teens, children and parents participate in seven sessions designed to help children mourn and parents come to a better understanding of the grieving process so children can regain hope and trust. Facilitators engage children in group activities and discussions while another counselor conducts group sessions with parents. The cost of the seven week program is just $140 per family.
As an extension of Healing Hearts, three parishes in New Mexico offers Seasons of Hope support groups. Anyone who has experienced loss is welcome to these ministries - both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
Healing Hearts ministry is the light at the end of what seems like a dark tunnel for children, teens and adults.
New Mexico has one of the highest rates of suicide in the United States and, sadly, suicide is on the increase. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available. Please call 988, the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, which is available 24 hours a day. You are not alone.
For those who have lost a loved one to suicide, the Family Life Office along with the support of Archbishop John C. Wester would like to announce a new support group for individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide. The program, "Together with God" is being led by suicide loss survivors. An upcoming workshop will be available in fall 2023 (location and dates TBD). For more information, visit our events page. This program is funded by the The Catholic Foundation.
For complete information on Healing Hearts, click here. If private therapy is desired, the ASF Therapists Referral Network offers a list of counselors who have received special training about the theologies, traditions and values of the Catholic faith.
If you are interested in becoming a Grief Support Group facilitator, visit our Ministry Trainings page. For those grieving the loss of a baby following an abortion, help and healing are available. Visit our "post abortive healing" page for more information.
Contact the Family Life Office for more information at (505) 831-8117.