We, the staff of Michigan Medicine, wish to extend our condolences to you upon the death of your loved one. We hope this page will be helpful to you to find helpful resources through Michigan Medicine, in the community, and online.
This page is intended to provide information and support for the death of an adult in the hospital. To view a summary of all the information in this section, visit the Grief Support Following the Death of a Loved One page.
Please visit the Grief Support Upon the Death of a Child on the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital website for information following the death of a child and Loss of a Desired Pregnancy on the Von Voigtlander Women's site for support following pregnancy loss.
Seek Support for Grief and Loss
The pain of grief can often cause you to want to withdraw from others and retreat into your shell. However, having the face-to-face support of other people is vital to healing from loss. Even if you’re not comfortable talking about your feelings under normal circumstances, it’s important to express them when you’re grieving. You may find comfort just from being around others. Other places to find support include:
- Faith community
- Support group
- Therapist or grief counselor
For many, comfort comes from tending to the grief privately. Facing and expressing feelings in a tangible creative way, maintaining hobbies and activities, and looking after your physical health can be very helpful. Others find reading as a way to get new ideas about coping with the loss. What works for one person may not be helpful to another.
This webpage will suggest some different coping materials including books, websites, podcasts, and community resources. These materials have helped grieving families just like you.
Upon the Death of Your Loved One Packet
Michigan Medicine has created a downloadable packet which includes most of the information provided on the Office of Decedent Affairs website. You may have received this packet from a social worker in the hospital after your loss. View or download the bereavement packet in English: Upon the Death of Your Loved One PDF.
The packet is available in the following languages:
Community Resources for Grieving Friends and Family
Listed here are only some of the valuable resources that exist for family and friends who are grieving the loss of a loved one. If you’d like a list of resources that are specific to the type of loss you are experiencing or specific to the area in which you live, please contact the Office of Decedent Affairs by calling 734-232-4919 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. You may also email the ODA office at SocWk-ODA@med.umich.edu.
- Arbor Hospice: Arbor Hospice provides a range of expert support services to help explore, understand and express the grief that is exclusively yours. We also feature specialized grief support for children and teens. Services provided: In-person support groups, one-time support programs, and virtual support groups. Located in: Washtenaw County.
- GrieveWell: GrieveWell’s mission is to provide resources and support to individuals in grief — as well as those who surround them — in order to build a community that promotes healthy grieving and healing. Services provided: Peer counseling and workshops. Located in: Washtenaw County.
- Ele’s Place: Ele’s Place is dedicated solely to helping children and teens work with and through grief. Services provided: Bereavement support groups, school-based support, and additional help for parents. Located in: Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint, and Grand Rapids.
- Compassionate Friends: Compassionate Friends provides support to people who have had a child die at any age, from any cause, or for people who are trying to help those who have gone through this life-altering experience. Services provided: Support groups, crisis hotline, private Facebook groups, online communities, family support, and general supportive information. Located in: Chapters of Compassionate Friends exist throughout the country. Use the chapter navigator to find a chapter near your city.
- New Hope Center for Grief Support: New Hope Center for Grief Support is a 501c3 charitable organization dedicated to bringing hope, healing, and new beginnings to adults and children grieving the death of a loved one. Services Provided: Support groups and workshops for all types of losses. Located in: Northville, MI, and serves all of southeastern Michigan with groups held at various locations.
The Office of Decedent Affairs selected a few books to highlight that some families have found helpful to read during their grieving process.
View or download the PDF of the full recommended Grief Resources Reading List for Adults or the Recommended Grief Resources for Children and Teens.
- After the Darkest Hour the Sun Will Shine Again. Elizabeth Mehren
- A Decembered Grief: Living with Loss While Others are Celebrating. Harold Ivan Smith
- Empty Cradle, Broken Heart—Surviving the Death of Your Baby. Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D.
- Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome. Gabrielle Birkner and Rebecca Soffer
- The Year of Magical Thinking. Joan Didion
- Grieving: A Beginners Guide. Jerusha Hull McCormack
- Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide (Revised Edition). Christopher Lukas and Henry M. Seiden
- Resilient Grieving: Finding Strength and Embracing Life After a Loss That Changes Everything. Lucy Hone, Ph.D
- I Wasn’t Ready to Say Goodbye: Surviving, Coping and Healing After the Sudden Death of a Loved One. Brook Noel and Pamela D. Blair, Ph.D.
- The Goodbye Book. Todd Parr
- Always and Forever. Alan Durant
- I Miss You: A First Look at Death. Pat Thomas
- Ida, Always. Caron Levis
- Someone I Love Died. Christine Harder Tangvald
- Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You. Nancy Tillman
- What’s Heaven. Maria Shriver
- Healing Your Grieving Heart for Kids 100 Practical Ideas. Alan D. Wolfelt Ph.D.
- Sad Isn’t Bad: A Good-Grief Guidebook for Kids Dealing with Loss. Michaelene Mundy
- What on Earth Do You Do When Some Dies. Trevor Romain
- Gentle Willow. Joyce C. Mills
- Teenagers Face to Face with Bereavement. Karen Gravelle and Charles Haskins
- Healing Your Grieving Heart for Teens: 100 Practical Ideas. Alan Wolfelt
- Aarvy Aardvark Finds Hope. Donna O’Toole
- Lifetimes—The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children. Bryan Mellonie and Robert Ingpen
Universal Loss Activity Books
- Muddles, Puddles, and Sunshine: Your Activity Book to Help When Someone Has Died (Early Years). Diana Crossley
- When Someone Very Special Dies: Children Can Learn to Cope With Grief . Marge Heegaard
- Help Me Say Goodbye: Activities for Helping Kids Cope When a Special Person Dies. Janis Silverman
- Healing Your Grieving Heart JOURNAL for Teens. Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D. and Megan E. Wolfelt
- Modern Loss: Modern Loss is a place to share the unspeakably taboo, unbelievably hilarious, and unexpectedly beautiful terrain of navigating your life after a death. Beginners welcome.
- What’s Your Grief: Promoting grief education, exploration, and expression in both practical and creative ways.
- Refuge in Grief: An online community and resource that helps people survive some of the hardest experiences of their lives.
- Dougy Center for Grieving Children: The Dougy Center provides support in a safe place where children, teens, young adults, and their families grieving a death can share their experiences.
- Hospice of Michigan: Hospice of Michigan provides ongoing grief support even if your loved one was not enrolled in Hospice. Find grief support groups throughout Michigan’s lower peninsula on their website.
- What’s Your Grief Podcast: An occasional podcast by hosts Litsa Williams and Eleanor Haley, covering everything from the holidays to dating after bereavement.
- Grief Out Loud: This podcast comes from The Dougy Center, one of the best centers serving bereaved children and adults in the U.S.
- Terrible Thanks for Asking: Nora McInerny asks real people to share their complicated and honest feelings about how they really are. It’s sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and often both.
Contact the Office of Decedent Affairs
The Office of Decedent Affairs (ODA) is part of the Michigan Medicine Department of Social Work. The ODA is the centralized point of contact at Michigan Medicine for ongoing questions and concerns before, during, and after the death of a loved one. To contact the Office of Decedent Affairs, call 734-232-4919 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You may also email the ODA office at SocWk-ODA@med.umich.edu