the grief center


Our Mission

To create a caring community where grieving families know they are not alone; to provide a safe place to grieve the death and celebrate the life of loved ones; to provide professionally facilitated support groups, individual counseling and special programs for grieving children, teens and adults; and to be the primary community resource for providing comprehensive grief support, advocacy and education.

The Grief Center believes in the strength of love and the power of hope.

We provide a safe place to grieve and celebrate the life of loved ones. We understand that each person's grief is unique and that seeking help is a sign of strength, no weakness. We listen. We share. We remember.

We know that grief is not something you ever "get over." That loss will be a part of your life forever, and that is okay. Our goal is to help individuals and families find a way to move forward with hope and healing after a loss.

The Grief Center is where adults, teens, and children can come to pour out their hearts, pick up the pieces, and begin to find hope again.

programs and services

Letter from our Executive Director

2020 brought unforeseen challenges and unimaginable suffering for many, but it also brought stories of teamwork and helpers, enabling us to see one another in all our beautiful, complicated, anxious, hopeful, loving, scared, sad, joyful humanity.

In March, it became apparent the pandemic would not spare our state. We knew The Grief Center would play an important role in caring for our community as it faced unprecedented loss and grief. As the only dedicated Grief Center in our state, serving families and individuals of all ages, we immediately began to adapt and find ways to effectively reach those grieving in our community.

Offering video and phone sessions was one way we were able to expand our services. For the first time, a widow with small children who couldn’t find childcare was able to process her grief in her own home. A grieving father, working as a plant manager, received virtual grief counseling while sitting in his car during his lunch break. A 13 year-old teen, two communities away, mourning the death of her sister, feeling isolated and alone, found hope again through weekly telehealth sessions with her grief counselor.

One of the most difficult parts of grieving is feeling alone and the isolation caused from the pandemic has made this exponentially worse. Knowing this, our staff made the decision early on to re-open The Grief Center to grieving hearts for in-person services. We did this safely, following the CDC guidelines, and became one of only a few nonprofit organizations providing on-site services during this pandemic. Our online and in-person groups in 2020 exceeded last year's attendance rate.

We believe every grieving heart deserves access to bereavement care. Lack of access has profound implications for the health, social and economic well-being of families, our community and our state. As we look to 2021, the need for our services is overwhelming.

But today, my heart is full of awe and gratitude for our staff, volunteers and donors who made so many personal sacrifices to hold space for those who needed it most. Thank you for supporting The Grief Center and the grieving hearts who come here to find hope again.


Audrey McCraw
Executive Director

A Look Ahead...

2020 was the year none of us expected, and we know we will be dealing with the repercussions of this year for many more to come. Our community needs The Grief Center now more than ever before, and we are determined to be there.

Within the first two years of a death, most individuals will present with emotional distress, and up to 25% experience severe distress (or complicated grief) requiring intervention by skilled experts.

We expect to see this number rise over the next two years. This pandemic has led to a significant increase in psychological distress associated with trauma, grief and loss. Economic stressors, social isolation, and sustained uncertainty has stripped away our ability to rebound from life stressors. Even those who pre-pandemic could move through a loss without professional help are now at risk of developing complicated grief. Individuals and families who had stable jobs and strong social support before the pandemic suddenly face financial insecurity and social isolation in addition to increased anxiety, compounding any loss they may have experienced during the past year.

Our Vision has always been to create a safe place to grieve, tell the story of their loved ones, and find a healthy way to move forward. As we grow, we are keeping this vision at the forefront of every programming decision.

We will continue blended services, providing in-person and virtual programming for our clients and our outreach partners. This enables us to reach more individuals than ever before, removing barriers to access such as travel time and transportation costs.

We will be expanding programming to include highly focused seminars aimed at delivering coping skills, psychoeducation and resources to newly bereaved parents, families and high-risk populations.

We will continue to reach out to other professionals in our state, because the better understanding these professionals have of risk factors and symptoms associated with traumatic loss and complicated grief, the sooner interventions can begin, and the better chance we have at decreasing mortality rates, keeping families in-tact and decreasing the likelihood of mood, anxiety and substance disorders for bereaved Oklahomans.

We know that grief will always be a part of life. As Colin Murray Parkes said, grief is the price we pay for love. The Grief Center's goal is not to eliminate grief, but to normalize it. We aim to create a state where grieving individuals of all ages have access to a strong support system, an empathetic community, easy-to-understand resources that educate and explain bereavement, and affordable professional help when needed.

We believe no one should grieve alone. This is our vision for 2021 and beyond.