Bereavement Support

We are committed to providing compassionate care throughout your grief process. Grief is a normal emotional response following a loss.

When we experience loss, our grief can be very powerful and cause a number of physical, emotional and spiritual symptoms. It is important to remember that each of us grieves differently and experiences our own reactions and challenges following a death.


“Our grief is that proof that another life touched ours in a profound way.” ~ Tracie Barrett-Welser


Helpful Information

Arrangements for the funeral or religious services can be made after you leave the hospital.

Discuss your plans with family members and friends. After you make initial contact, the funeral home will probably contact you to find a time to help you arrange the details of the funeral.

If you are a member of a spiritual community, your faith leader may also assist you with these arrangements.

As you go through these logistics, the emotional, spiritual, and physical aspects of grief may emerge. Please know this is normal and resources are available.


When You Return Home

You may wish to:

  • Contact other family members and close friends
  • Discuss the choice of funeral home with close family and friends
  • Contact your clergy (if you have one), who will assist you with funeral arrangements
  • Have a relative, friend, or neighbor answer the phone or help with phone calls if you have to notify a number of people
  • Notify the employer of the deceased
  • Notify the employers of household members
  • Notify the school that children are attending
  • Contact your attorney (if you have one) who will be able to assist you with any legal issues
  • Have someone keep a list of all phone calls, flowers, and food donations
  • Determine if you would like donations made to an organization or charity in memory of your loved one

If you have financial concerns, call 211 for assistance or talk to the funeral home director.

Prior to Going to the Funeral Home

It may be helpful to have another family member or close friend go with you to the funeral home. The funeral home will assist with obituary writing and submission.

You may wish to take the following:

  • Name of the deceased (full name including any nicknames or other names the person might have used)
  • Date of birth of the deceased
  • Place of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Occupation
  • Parents’ names
  • If a veteran, proof of military service. If that is not accessible, the funeral home can assist you.
  • List of relatives and relationships
  • List of church, professional organizations, clubs or other organizations in which membership was held
  • The name and address of organization or charity if you wish to have memorial donations to honor the deceased
  • A list of individuals who might be available as pallbearers and/or individuals who may speak at the service
  • Clothing for burial
  • The arrangements for food or a reception after the burial service 

After You Have Made Funeral Arrangements

  • Through the funeral home, obtain three copies of the death certificate
  • Contact life insurance companies
  • Contact your local Social Security Office if you are eligible for benefits
  • If you do not have an attorney, contact your bank concerning existing accounts

Make a list of others you may need to contact, including:

  • Employer
  • School
  • Bank
  • Utilities
  • Creditors

Hartford HealthCare Resources

  • Follow-up correspondence one month after the death
  • Bereavement consultation, call us at 860.972.2290

Hartford HealthCare Groups and Programs

You are welcome to attend any of these groups at any stage of your grief for initial and ongoing support. Registration is required. The groups are facilitated by Hartford HealthCare chaplains and social workers.

  • Hartford Hospital: meetings are scheduled for the second and fourth Monday of the month, 1:00-2:15 p.m. at the Jefferson Building Room 117. If you have any questions, please contact us at 860.972.2290.

When to Seek Professional Help

While there are normal reactions to grief, persistent symptoms that interfere with your ability to engage in everyday life need to be taken seriously. If you find that any of these are true for you, we suggest you consider seeking professional help.

  • If you are always feeling exhausted, anxious, depressed, helpless, experiencing uncontrollable anger, insomnia or stressed-out
  • If you are withdrawing from family and friends, work, school, etc.
  • If you are becoming dependent on drugs or alcohol
  • If you have little desire to get involved in activities you once enjoyed

How to Seek Professional Help

  • Connect with previous therapists or mental health providers
  • Reach out to your primary care physician
  • Connect with a faith leader
  • Call our bereavement line (860.972.2290)
  • If you are experiencing thoughts of self-harm or harm to others, please reach out to your primary care physician or call 911 in an emergency.

Bereavement Support Contacts