Our Pastoral Care Department also extends its outreach to the community through the support programs listed below. We hope some of them may be of comfort to you and your family.
You may always call our Pastoral Care Department to learn more about any of our support programs at (708) 229-4299.
Out of an abundance of caution and based on recommendations from state and local health agencies due to COVID-19, we have decided to postpone in-person bereavement meetings. Please click each link for contact information for our grief specialist.
Heart Connection (Children's bereavement programs)
The Heart Connection staff is committed to supporting families, schools, and the community in caring for grieving children. OSF Little Company of Mary hosts this program for grieving children each spring and fall. We realize mourning the loss of a family member or cherished person is hard but essential work for all families if their future is to be happy and secure. Children are no exception. They need a safe, accepting and nurturing environment where each can grieve in his or her own way.
Our Heart Connection staff is committed to supporting families, schools and the community in caring for grieving children. OSF Little Company of Mary offers this unique program that encourages children to honor and express their feelings of loss. Through creative activities and the companionship of other children in similar circumstances, they find the necessary guidance and support necessary for their healing.
The Heart Connection meets weekly for eight sessions from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. The first session is a family orientation to the program.
After that, the children gather weekly in age-specific support groups:
- 5-6 years
- 7-9 years
- 10-12 years
- 13-18 years
Trained professional co-facilitators guide each group through creative activities suitable to their developmental ages, enabling their expression of grief and enhancing their coping skills.
Simultaneous to the children's group, professional grief specialists present weekly topics to parents and family members to guide and support them in helping their children, as well as caring for themselves, through this painful experience of grief.
Registration and a completed application are required for acceptance into the program, whose enrollment is limited to 32 children. We ask that children attend all eight sessions. There is no fee since it is part of our mission to provide services like this to the communities we serve.
Ordinarily, in the child's best interest, we advise waiting to enter the program until her or she is at least three months' bereaved.
Living When a Loved One Has Died (Adult bereavement program)
For those who have lost a loved one, you should know our Pastoral Care Department can appreciate how devastated you are. We would like to offer support, help and encouragement to you and your family.
Perhaps for a variety of reasons, you hesitate to share your deep feelings of grief or you feel cautious of tiring others with your concerns, or it's just too difficult to share with someone the magnitude of what you are facing. Whatever holds you back, we know that it means a great deal to talk about your loss and to feel understood. It is one of the most vital means of letting you know that you will survive and feel whole again.
Our Adult Bereavement Program is held on six consecutive Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. Gatherings take place in spring and fall. For special dates, contact Pastoral Care at 708.229.4299.
- The Grief Process: What is Happening to Me?
- Understanding Your Feelings
- Families Grieve Differently- Finding Support
- How Am I Doing? Issues of Complicated Grief
- Taking Time: A Call to Live Again
- Coming Through Your Grief
We ask for a fee of $25 for those who are able.
Programs for Spanish Speaking Families
If you have lost a loved one and wish to learn more information about one of our support programs, please contact the Pastoral Care Department at (708) 229-4299.
Recursos para familias que hablan espanol Si usted ha perdido un ser querido y queria saber mas informacion llame a departamento de ciudado Pastoral del Hospital. Contacto: (708) 229-4299.
Viviendo: Cuando un Ser Querido Ha Muerto, es un programa de apoyo para adultos que están en luto por la muerte de un ser querido. Conexión del Corazon es un programa de apoyo para niños (de la edad 5 hasta 18 años) y sus familiares que están en luto por la muerte de un ser querido.
The Child Grief Services program (formerly known as the Barr-Harris Children’s Grief Center)
The Child Grief Services program (formerly known as the Barr-Harris Children’s Grief Center) at OSF Little Company of Mary of Mary Medical Center is a counseling service providing individual therapy to children mourning the loss of a parent or family member through death, divorce or abandonment, and child guidance services to the family. Set fees on a sliding scale so that no family is denied therapeutic services for reason of financial status. No child is ever turned away. For information or an appointment, call (312) 922-7474, ext 310.
Cherished Angel Memory Garden
This garden is located on hospital grounds and was created as a sacred place for quiet reflection and prayer for families mourning the death of their baby, either recently or at another time of their life. The garden is open for visiting during daylight hours -- May to late October. Each year on the third Sunday of May, we invite those who have had a recent loss at the hospital or in our community, to come for a gathering of families at our Remembrance Service. For further information, or for directions to the garden, please call the Family Birth Center at (708) 229-5928, or the hospital chaplain at (708) 229-5484.
The Compassionate Friends (Support group for parents who have lost a child)
A non-profit, self-help program which offers friendship and understanding to families grieving the death of a child at any age, from any cause. The South Suburban chapter meets the third Sunday of the month at 3 p.m. Call Mickey-May Taylor at (708) 229-6840 for information.
Coping with the Holidays (Preparing bereaved families for the holidays)
An evening meeting of support and guidance offered to bereaved families preparing for the holidays and is presented by a national speaker on grief and loss, Father Jim Heneghan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. For date, time, and other information, please call the Pastoral Care Department at (708) 229-5480.
Cherished Angel Perinatal Loss Support Group (Support group for parents who have lost a baby)
The unexpected death of a baby leaves parents with deep heartache. Caring, support, and guidance during this difficult time of mourning is invaluable to healing and is offered by The Family Birth Center at OSF Little Company of Mary. The nursing and pastoral care staff at OSF Little Company of Mary offers compassionate guidance and resources to support parents during loss due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death. Recently, members of the OSF Little Company of Mary's Perinatal Loss Committee donated a CuddleCotTM to the Family Birth Center, which allows the family to spend more time with their baby, precious moments where every minute counts, during his or her short time on Earth. This support group meets every third Tuesday of each month, from 7pm-8:30pm. Support group is free. No registration is required. For more information, please contact Gina Demas at (708) 229-5928.
Hospice Bereavement (Support for families and patients)
This Hospice bereavement service begins immediately once a family enters the Hospice program. Services are provided according to the family and patient's needs for supportive care and counseling and spiritual support to prepare for the passing of their loved one. Services are continued by phone or visit and as needed. Additionally, Hospice offers a daytime grief support group twice a year. Hospice also provides CEU accredited training for community members interested in Hospice care. Please call (708) 229-6947 for more information.
Parents of Murdered Children, Inc. (Support group)
A non-profit, self-help organization offers support, friendship, information and guidance to families and friends whose loved one has died through violence. OSF Little Company of Mary hosts the local chapter support meetings on the first Thursday of each month from 7-9 pm. For more information, please call support group leaders, Pat and Melvin Nicholas at (708) 229-6104.