Grief support in the Philippines

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Grief is not exclusive for those who have lost a child , a parent or sibling. In life we experience so many losses such as loss of job, money, health , a love affair and other things. The grief process is universal to us all. We go through stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.


As a bereaved mother, I reach out to other grief support groups and counsellors in the Philippines. There were no support groups or grief therapists in the year 2000. I tried to start the Compassionate Friends that year but the USA group appeared lukewarm to my email. On hindsight, I was not ready to be an effective organizer considering that my pain was still so fresh and new.

Grief support in the Philippines has taken off in many ways during the past 2 years. For instance,

1. The Compassionate Friends which was started last year. It’s a grief support group for parents , grandparents or siblings following the death of a son, daughter , brother or sister. The group meets every third saturday of the month at the Greenhills Christian Fellowship and can be contacted through our website or call during office hours at +632-2244396 (read Sunday Inquirer Interview)

2. Inang Naulila sa Anak (INA) Foundation initiated by Gina de Venecia for bereaved mothers. Though I have their contact information, I can’t put it here because I didn’t ask permission. But just email me if you need it.

3. Healing Circles – A grief support group for those in transistion due to the loss of a loved one through death,separation or life shifts. My friend, Agnes Prieto started Healing Circles in June 2004. Agnes, together with two grieving friends (a widower and a widow) decided to unite and help others to heal. They meet every third thursday of the month at Assumption San Lorenzo St. Agustin room at 5 pm.

3. Young widow, Denise Lopez shows her Journey, trials and triumps of a young widow. Related topics in recovery, putting life back in order, loneliness, reflective prayers, humorous undertakings in dating/breaking up, relearning things, and being single again.

4. Grief counsellors- I know of only 3 professional therapists who have lost a loved one. After their loss, they trained to be a counsellor to help others like them. I highly recommend them. Why? because they can truly understand the pain of losing a loved one without spewing psychoanalytical babble. They have only been around in the past 2 to 3 years. You know, after my son died, we went to a few sessions with a psychologist who was highly recommended by friends and relatives. But she had no knowledge of the grief process for bereaved parents. She only had the theories of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross which didn’t help at all. Elizabeth only dealt with the dying but what about those who lost a loved one? Our therapist was just as clueless as we were. The 1000 pesos an hour wasn’t worth it at all.

If given choices to help ourselves, the grief journey can be made easier. Maybe I had to go through all that pain in order to go beyond it and seek channels to transform the pain. A thought occurred to me to study psychology courses in order to be a grief therapist. But I didn’t want to study for two years . I wanted to help now. Just being a friend to others is the course I chose.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1388 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • yhen m. rodriguez

    Hello! It’s nice to know that there are support groups like you for mothers who lost a child like me. I too lost my only daughter last June 27, 2005 and life hasn’t been normal since then. I’d like to ask for the website of the support group by Ms. Gine de Venecia…I’d be more willing to share my thoughts next time, I just can’t organize them well right now, they’re all jumbled in my head…Thank you very much.Hoping for your response…

  • Yhen: Hope you can join The Compassionate Friends too. We have monthly meetings. For INA’s contact numbers, please email me at noemidado @

  • Malot

    Hi! I will be very happy if you can give me the website that Denise has put up for young widows. I lost my husband to complications from a malignant brain tumor in March 2005. I’ve been seeking support for my grief. Thank you.

  • It’s nice to see that there are many grief support in the Philippines now. Grief counseling is very important to someone who had lost loved one.

    I can share with you my site:

  • joyce

    may i know the website of INA foundation. me too lost my only daughter last march 15, 2008. and its very traumatic…

  • joyce

    may i know the website of INA foundation. me too lost my only daughter last march 15, 2008. its very traumatic.

  • ghie_espino

    i need help… i just cant show my feelings its always inside of me ,,,but i have no way letting it out…i always cry at night.. and somehow couldnt sleep…. i dont know waht to do.. im really confuse…. there’s too many thoughts in my head.. i just cant let it out… plsss. help me

  • Anonymous

    hi… I want to help myself as well as my family to recover with the trauma and pain due to the loss of my 9 year old niece… please help me.

  • need help.also i have been messing my life…for a year i kept on denying that i have not gotten over it.but today…i admit it…i need help…i need to move on…and what makes it more complicated.i have suicidal tendencies…

  • Anonymous

    hi.ive been denying myself that i was doing fine coping with my been a year now.and my closest friends told me that i have depression and after much discussion…i admit…im in a severe depression and i need help…

  • macrita

    Hello my name is Ofel, i have been looking for a support group that i can go to, and that is why i have search for grief support group and i found this page. I live in Olongapo City and my daughter past last year of September. Me and my husband are having a hardtime to accept the loss. I have a background of psychology but seems like i cannot help the family to get pass this. I am thinking that maybe if i can find a grief support here where i live, it would help us quiet a bit to ease the pain. And if i could also organize a group who lost their love ones it coul help a lot.