What We Do

Partnering with a wide variety of bereavement resources and strong community programs along the Lakeshore, Sytsema Compass offers grief opportunities to listen, educate, and equip those who have experienced a death loss.

The following are some of the unique grief support opportunities that Sytsema Compass offers.

National Virtual Candlelight Tribute

Sytsema Compass Grief Support Services is proud to join Judi’s House/JAG Institute and National Alliance for Grieving Children in a Virtual Candlelight Tribute on Friday, May 15. This campaign will unite individuals across the nation in recognizing those who are grieving the death of a family member or special person.

Participation in this virtual campaign is easy:

  • Participate at a time that is meaningful for you on Friday, May 15
  • Download and print the United in Grief candle graphic, write in the name of the person you are honoring, color the sheet creatively for those whose world seems dark and post it in your window to show others you stand with them in their grief.
  • Share a photo of your candle on social media with a message of remembrance and hope using the hashtag #unitedingrief
  • Don’t have a printer? Simply use your creativity and share your personalized image and messaging in your window and on social media using the hashtag #unitedingrief

This is not time to minimize the grief experience. This is time for compassion for self and others.Your participation will serve as a symbol of hope, remembrance, and inspiration.

<<Postponed Until Further Notice>>

You are invited to Join Gwen Kapcia, LBSW, CT and Keri Verwolf, CT during a 4-week educational series on grief for the adult mourner.

Wednesdays, March 11- April 1, 2020 from 5:15pm - 7:15pm at the Lee Chapel

Space is limited. RSVP today to Keri Verwolf, 231-855-6688 or KeriV@sytsemafh.com

Week 1: What makes it difficult to grieve? What factors influence your personal journey?

Week 2: The major components of grief: a closer look at anger, depression, guilt

Week 3: What the experts say about the healing process 

Week 4:  Long range goals for healing, managing grief in the years ahead

Walking on Waves: Walking Group

Our next 6-week walking group will take place on Tuesdays from May 26 - June 30, 12noon - 1pm.

This is a casual walk along the Shoreline Trail for any who are experiencing grief related to a death loss. Come enjoy fresh air, companionship, and exercise! No sign-up required. We will meet at the lower parking lot at Fricano Place (1050 W. Western Ave, Muskegon, 49441). See you there!

One-on-One Support

Sometimes the most helpful resource is a listening ear. This service is completely confidential, and our goal is to help you heal. It would be an honor for us to walk alongside you in this way, at no cost.

Contact Keri by phone or email to set up an appointment today: 231-855-6688 or keriv@sytsemafh.com

Upcoming Events - 2020

March 11 - April 1: Grief Education Series, Wednesdays

May 26 - June 30: Walking on Waves, Tuesdays

July 8 - 10: Camp Anew - Kid's Grief Camp

September 9 - 30: Grief Education Series, Wednesdays

December 1st: Holiday Service of Remembrance


Misconception: Grief and Mourning are the same thing

Reality: You will naturally grieve, but you will probably have to make a conscious effort to mourn. 

Misconception: Grief and mourning progress in predictable, orderly stages

Reality: Your grief will be unpredictable and will not likely progress in an orderly fashion. It will involve a wide variety of different thoughts and feelings, and it will probably hurt more before it hurts less.

Misconception: You should move away from grief, not toward it

Reality: You need to feel it to heal it. Tears of grief, being upset or openly mourning are not signs of weakness. 

Misconception: Nobody can help you with your grief

Reality: You need other people to help you through your grief. 

Misconception: After someone you love dies, the goal should be to "get over" your grief as soon as possible

Reality: You don't "get over" grief, you learn to live with it. But you will not always feel this bad.


Adapted from Dr. Alan Wolfelt

  • “Thank you for your understanding and compassion, and always being there for me and others. For all your help to get me through my loss... all I can say is thanks.”
  • I like coming here because when I have something to say, people are really listening.
  • Thank you sincerely for sharing our sorrow, your thoughtfulness is appreciated and will always be remembered.  ”
  • I just wanted to thank you for all of your support of our groups over the last few weeks. I know you, and the entire team, put in a great deal of work behind the scenes to make this all come together. I know that many of us are moving to a better place in our lives because of that work.
  • I just want to let you know how much I appreciate our sessions. It's helpful to talk with someone that's caring and compassionate.

If you would like more information, wish to make an appointment, or simply have questions, please feel free to connect with us at any time.

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