At Max A. Sass & Sons Funeral Home we feel our commitment to families does not end when the funeral does. We offer Aftercare services as a way we may serve as a continual resource to families as they work through the difficulties following a death. These problems can be wide ranging from the logistics of dealing with insurance and social security to working through grief.

 Our Aftercare process begins with a simple follow-up call a week to ten days after the service. It is typical for those dealing with loss to have a great deal of support directly preceding and during the funeral. However within a week or so much of that support lessens as others return to their normal lives. Sometimes it's nice to hear a friendly voice at this time. This call can simply be left at that or even as a check up to see if more death certificates or thank you cards are needed. If more assistance is desired our Aftercare staff will do their best to aid families in the manner they wish.

 Max A. Sass & Sons Funeral Home offer grief sessions to the families we serve and to the community at large. These sessions are intended mostly for those who have suffered the loss of a spouse and are free of charge. They are hosted at the funeral home by trained facilitators who share weekly packets of information that lead to discussions.

 Groups meet for seven consecutive weeks, with new groups beginning after a two week break. Times will vary throughout the year so that we may accommodate as many families as possible. Please contact us for the next available start date.

 Families who experience a different type of death, such as a loss to suicide or the loss of a child, may need a group that deals with that specific experience. In such cases we offer a Community Grief Resources Guide that may help them find a group that can help them best.

The Mourning process

The bereaved frequently ask "How do I know when I'm getting better?" and "When is mourning finished?" A loss to death is experienced as sudden and dramatic. Recovery and adjustment, however, are much more subtle and gradual. (Victor M. Parachin; The Director April 2002)

 The Mourning Process

Phase I - Numbness
Phase II - Yearning
Phase III - Disorganization and despair
Phase IV - Reorganized behavior

 Symptoms of Grief

  • Somatic or bodily distress of some type
  • Preoccupation with image of deceased
  • Guilt relating to the relationship with the deceased or the circumstances of death
  • Hostile reactions
  • Inability to function as one had before the loss

Normal Emotional Responses to Grief

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Guilt and Self-Reproach
  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Fatigue
  • Helplessness
  • Shock
  • Yearning
  • Emancipation
  • Relief

Physical Sensations of Grief

  • Hollowness in the stomach
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Tightness in the throat
  • Oversensitivity to noise
  • A sense of depersonalization (nothing seems real, including self)
  • Breathlessness, feeling short of breath
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Lack of energy

Behaviors of Grief

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Absent-minded behavior
  • Dreams of the deceased
  • Searching and calling out
  • Restless overactivity
  • Visiting places or carrying objects that remind the survivor of the deceased
  • Appetite disturbances
  • Social withdrawal
  • Avoiding reminders of the deceased
  • Sighing
  • Crying
  • Treasuring objects that belonged to the deceased

Copyright Patricia Clason 2002 Center for Creative Leaning, LLC (800) 236-4692 E-mail: