The "Companioning" Model

The companioning model of grief care was developed by Dr. Alan Wolfelt, of the Center for Loss and Life Transition. It is not a medical treatment model of assessing, analyzing, fixing or resolving, but about providing a safe space where the mourner is free to share their natural human feelings in response to profound loss.

The companioning model is anchored in respecting and exploring the uniqueness of each person’s story and allowing him or her to “teach me” what grief is like for them as it impacts their world.

Grief companioning is about being present to another person’s pain, not trying to take it away. It is about honoring the spirit, taking time, sitting in sacred silence, listening with the heart, and providing much needed support along the journey.

In the companioning model of grief care individuals learn how to:

  • be an active participant in their grief and healing process,
  • gain insight into one’s own story, values, and perspectives,
  • honor their pain while re-engaging in life again.