Online Training Course (Zoom)

Support the bereaved by being a grief companion

Training on ‘Zoom’

We have completed the latest Part 1 and Part 2 courses, and the next sessions will be after summer. Anyone who completes at least 1 Course is welcome to join in with our bimonthly “Grief Companion Project Support” Zooms. 

The next courses will probably run in September or October.  If you are interested in participating, please fill in the registration form here  – this is without obligation. Once there are enough people ‘pencilled in’, I will fix a date for another course.

The course was what I hoped for and much more! I found the content really interesting, reassuring, thought provoking and moving at times The materials and slides were excellent, so much lovely useful resource to refer back to and think about. (JM, a participant)

This course is based on knowledge through lived experiences and spiritual and theoretical aspects of grief.  Everyone grieves.  Some may already be supporting someone, this course will give you the skills and techniques so that you are able to support with the trauma and impact and the many emotional, psychological impacts so that you can be there to be their companion and observe, listen, hear and be a friend who walks with them throughout their journey side by side. (Mx, a participant)

Many of us would like to support people who have experienced loss but we are not sure the best way to go about it. This training is designed to equip adults who want to give informal support to those who are bereaved. It is based on the concept of being a “companion of grief” who will walk alongside the mourner as they adjust to the changed circumstances of their life. It is not formal counselling training.

The training is interactive with participation and opportunities to ask questions. The course includes some Christian perspectives. It is not concerned with theology or beliefs about the next life, but about the lived experience of those who are grieving following the death of a loved one.

The training is delivered by Abi May, an experienced retreat leader, author and educator. Find out more here:

You can find out more about the content of the course at this link:

When Zoom sessions start, they will be once a week for six weeks.

Dates: Not yet known – possibly September 2021

Time: (late afternoon or evening) 4:30-6:00 pm

  • We will use the Zoom video conferencing platform for this training.
  • There will be six sessions each lasting 1 ½ hours.
  • You will also receive notes and links with recommended reading by email after each session.
  • I will respond individually to questions or feedback that are sent to me during the course (it is thought-provoking and sometimes a personal conversation can be helpful)

Taking part

  • Registration is required.
  • There is a maximum of 12 places on the course. (The course will not go ahead unless there is a minimum of 6 participants.)
  • The first session is an introduction and is free to attend.
  • If you wish to continue the course, there is a one-time fee of £30
  • (The cost is £10 only for those who have attended a Living with Loss retreat)
  • You will receive a certificate of participation at the end of the course


  • Participants will need a device to see the screen, preferably a tablet or computer. (Phone in participation is not possible.)
  • You will need Zoom installed on your device. Zoom is free and easy to use.

Good news! We are in the UK, but you do not have to be a UK resident to attend.

A few more details 

  • Discussions during the training are about topics, not about personal matters.
  • You won’t need to contribute to discussions if you would prefer not to.
  • There are lots of ‘bereavement awareness” training courses out there. What makes this course somewhat unique is the faith-based content. It was originally designed as a course to support churches as they reach out to people in their communities who are grieving, but the ideas can be applicable in lots of other ways.
  • The course is based on the Living with Loss retreats – taking the lessons learned at those retreats and turning it around so that it can be used to support others.

Please note: If you are presently struggling with your own grief, then this course will not be suitable for you. Also, we do not recommend this course if you have suffered a significant bereavement within the past 18 months. If you have any questions about this – or anything else – please get in touch.

Registration details can be found here (opens new window)

THE PROGRAMME – Grief Companion Course Part 1

Session 1: Living with Loss: The wide impact of bereavement

Session 2: Expressions and experiences of grief, including styles of grieving

Session 3: Goals of grieving and the duration of grief

Session 4: Continuing bonds of love

Session 5: The language of grief

Session 6: Walking alongside grief

Once you have completed the course, you will be invited to attend ‘catch up’ sessions once every couple of months. There is also a Part 2 course.

Feedback from participants

“Thank you for these sessions – they really are informative and useful.

“I have appreciated every aspect of the course and can’t really think of anything I would have wished to be different. Each session was about the right length, and using Zoom was an effective way of making the teaching available. It was a practical course with plenty of realistic ideas, and there were good visual illustrations. I liked the way you ensured there was plenty of time for repetition and recap. I also appreciated the Biblical perspective. Thank you so much for the course, for making it available and for your gentle and wise teaching. I will most definitely recommend it to others.”

“Thank you so much for the Grief Support course.  The 6 sessions were well planned and structured, with prayer ideas and resources included.  … I would certainly recommend the course to others.  It worked really well on Zoom … Above all your gentle and authentic presence and input has been gratefully received.”

“It was more than I expected.  I think you were very sensitive to the possible  needs of everyone on the course and from the outset invited dialogue via email or zoom both with any questions that arose or with areas that touched us personally. That was welcome and helpful to receive your response. I would recommend the course to others and would include that care and compassion if they were in anyway anxious.”

What stood out for me was the range of teaching for differing situations – it’s not a one step covers all. … For me there was much that applied to my situation and much that I can use in my community – feel comfortable about approaching the bereaved.”

“I have so valued the course, thank you for developing it and running it. Your style, the PowerPoint presentations are informative and engaging, you use the chat screens brilliantly”

You certainly covered the ground thoroughly in the time we had, while also giving us helpful recaps and opportunities to comment and reflect, all in good proportions and using a variety of learning styles. I feel that I now have a more organised tool kit, and your slides and other documents, films etc are a library of resources that I will refer back to as well. So all in all, I’m feeling more confident and better able to continue in the much needed role of a grief companion, aware that in doing this I often receive more than I give. Accompanying people is a huge privilege.”

Abi leading a group – in person – once the lockdown is over, we are looking forward to running more ‘in person’ events.