Bereavement Education Programs


GRIEF AND FORGIVENESS:  Learn how to forgive yourself, family, friends, caregivers and your deceased loved one. Honor your wounded feelings, disappointments, or unmet expectations, and discuss coping strategies. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness.

DIFFERENT WAYS WE GRIEVE:  Learn how men and women grieve differently and explore our cultural diversity.  Discuss how a sudden death differs from an expected death.  Recognize that understanding and communicating help us to embrace our differences.

GRIEF: GETTING STUCK AND UNSTUCK:  Learn how holidays, special days and unique circumstances can trigger complicated grieving. Discuss healthy ways to reconcile the loss, and how to avoid some of the pitfalls that cause us to get stuck.

GRIEF AND GUILT:  Learn the difference between real and imagined guilt. Discuss guilt in relationship to illness, responsibility and suicide.  Explore ways to deal with the "If only's…" and the "What if's…"  and to accept the reality of the situation.

EXPRESSING GRIEF:  Learn the difference between grief and mourning.  Give yourself and others  permission to cry. Share your story through storytelling, drawing, journaling, music, dreams, poetry, songs and candle lighting.

HOW DO WE GRIEVE AND GO ON?  Learn the value of grief work, individual rituals and support groups. Examine healthy and unhealthy messages that you receive from loved ones, co-workers, friends, and our society.

GRIEF: EXPECTED OR SUDDEN?  Learn how to cherish our time together, how to be more prepared for death, and how to cope with sudden and traumatic death. Focus on the value of discussing important topics and writing down wishes regarding organ donation, funeral planning, and end of life issues. 

DEATH, DYING AND RECONCILING:  Discuss lessons learned from those who are dying, from the bereaved and the professionals. Learn how to start the dialogue, enhance listening skills, be present, respect the wishes and honor the memory.

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT:  Learn about books, magazines, conferences, services and support groups to help you cope with your grief. Identify your needs and ask for help.  Help others as you help yourself.

DEATH AND SPIRITUALITY: Learn how confronting death highlights life and living. Discover your inner truth and your purpose in life. Discuss the value of  healing rituals and service to others.



The holidays are a time of merriment, joy, gifts and spiritual reflection. The holidays can also be a time of sorrow, loneliness and despair.  Learn how to be prepared for the holiday blues.  Find the balance between isolation and participation;  meet others who empathize with you.


Customized to meet your unique needs.


How does a bereavement educator help?

Marguerite O'Connor is a bereavement educator. She was Bereavement Coordinator for Sudden Infant Death Services of Illinois, (SIDS-IL) Lisle, IL. She was a licensed funeral director for 28 years, became certified as a death educator, and then earned a master's  degree in adult education from National Louis University.  Marguerite has taught at Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Sociology, Psychology and Communications.

Marguerite is a member of several professional associations including the American Association of University Women and Toastmasters International.

She is past president of the Glenview Area Branch of AAUW, has served as a board member on the Funeral Directors Services Association from 1999-2001, and as President of Toastmasters in Mt. Prospect, Illinois from 1998-2000.








Recognizing that every experience is unique and personal, each program can

be customized for
your needs.


Marguerite O'Connor


Phone: 847.650.2650