About Grief Watch
GRIEF WATCH is a non-profit organization located in Portland, Oregon. It is based at the 18th Ave Peace House, site of a variety of ministries focused on hospitality, community, peace-making, and care for the dying.
MISSION: The Grief Watch mission is twofold: first, to offer spiritual, emotional and other support to persons who are grieving, and second, to assist organized efforts which address the systemic injustices within our society which are the source of grief for persons who are poor and marginalized.
RESOURCES: As part of its mission to the bereaved, Grief Watch and its companion program, Perinatal Loss, publish books, videotapes, audiotapes and other helpful resources aimed at persons who have suffered loss. These resources are distributed by mail order to hospitals, schools and individuals throughout the United States, Canada and a variety of other countries. The most popular publication from Grief Watch is a unique, full-color storybook for children of all ages, entitled TEAR SOUP, co-authored by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen, illustrated by Taylor Bills.
SUPPORT GROUPS: In Portland the program also sponsors several local “Brief Encounters” groups for bereaved parents who have lost children through miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death. Grief Watch also hosts regular meetings of Parents of Murdered Children, Suicide Bereavement Support and AIDS support.
OTHER DETAILS: The name of the Grief Watch program is inspired by the New Testament story in which Jesus, filled with agony and grief in anticipation of his own death at the hands of his enemies, chides his companions who have fallen asleep during his ordeal. Jesus says, “Could you not watch with me for one brief hour.” (Matthew 26:40) In the light of this story, the aim of Grief Watch is to be fully present with persons as they move through the pain of their grief.
Pat Schwiebert is founder and director of these two programs, which are staffed by professional volunteers who live in the 18th Ave Peace House, and other salaried employees. Non-profit income from the sale of resources, in excess of the programs’ needs, is frequently gifted to other non-profit organizations whose aims are consistent with the Grief Watch mission.
Though the program was created by, and resides with, persons who live in a faith community and operate from a faith perspective, its materials and personnel do not proselytize or promote any particular religious way.
The 18th Ave Peace House