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Connecting with Those Who are Grieving in the Digital Age

The digital age has brought many changes to our world and we now live in a time when many people are dependent on mobile devices.

Recently I was on a layover at the airport and snapped a picture (with my cell phone camera, of course) of three individuals who were sitting in a small restaurant alone at separate tables. Each person was riveted to a mobile device.

Technology seems to be evidence of the six degrees of separation theory, which is the concept that everyone is six or fewer steps away, by introduction, from any other person in the world. The internet is a great tool and, in some ways, has made many things in our life easier, more accessible, and enjoyable. Parents, day school teachers, students and grandparents reach out daily with emails, texts, and Instagram pictures!

However, when we are grieving, there is a need to connect with people face to face. When experiencing grief, being in the presence of others brings comfort, hope, and healing. Dr. Alan Wolfelt writes about the importance of being a companion to others when they are grieving. He writes, “Companioning is being present to another person’s pain, it is not about taking away the pain. It is about walking alongside of, it is not leading, but instead it is listening with the heart, not analyzing with the head.”

Compassion for fellow San Antonians has been a part of Porter Loring since the doors opened in 1918. This includes bereavement support to anyone in the community (at no charge) who is struggling with the loss of a loved one, as well as a commitment to providing grief education to those in the professional community. The support is made available through our staff, educational resources, in-services and workshops.

As we move into 2019, Porter Loring trusts that we will continue to be a resource and collaborate with you in being companions to those who are grieving. If you are affiliated with a hospice, hospital, or faith community, know that we can provide educational resources and in-services for you and your staff.

Listed below are Professional Caregivers Trainings that we can provide on-site for you and your staff. CEUs can be made available if there is interest.

Professional Caregiver Trainings

  • Working Together to Make a Meaningful Transfer
  • Taking Care of Ourselves When Caring for Those Who Are Grieving
  • Connecting with Those Who are Grieving
  • Difficult Conversations: “What Matters Most”
  • Heartfelt Word®


Submitted by Darwin L. Huartson, M.Div. BCC, Porter Loring Community Coordinator

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