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Oak Tree Bereavement Center
1500 Perez Drive  •  PO Box #1827  •  Pacifica, CA 94044 415-806-7169  •
acorn bottom Grief Support for Teens and Adults  •  Disenfranchised Grief
About Us
What We Do
We offer grief and loss support and counseling to individuals as well as twice-monthly groups for Bay Area grieving teens and adults. Our primary focus is to the 8 cities and towns on the coastside of San Mateo county. This is because research informs us that due to the geographic terrain of the Bay Area, grieving teens and adults along the coastside are seriously under-served by County and Bay Area services.

About the Oak Tree
The most widely worshipped of all trees: said by the Greeks to have been the first of all trees created, and from which, according to Virgil, sprang the human race. It is sacred to Jehovah, Zeus (Jupiter), Hercules, Demeter, the Teutonic Thor, the ancient Celtic druids, the Old Irish Dagda, and others. In northern Europe the oak tree was the tree of the dead and the abode of departed spirits. In Christian times the hollowed trunk of an oak tree served as a rude coffin. In northern countries, reverence of the oak was so great that in early Christian times a cross was carved into the trunk to resanctify it from Thor to Christ. In Saxony, the oak was so highly valued that there was a law forbidding its injury. In Germany and England, oaks were highly regarded medicinally. The patient, merely by walking around an oak, passed his ailment to the tree, which in turn gave it to the first bird alighting in its branches. Acorns are carried by many for general good luck, long life, and against disease. The oak is a symbol of endurance, strength, and triumph.

About Deborah Nagle-Burks, PhD, Executive Director
Deborah Nagle-Burkes Deborah Nagle-Burks, PhD, is the founding director of Oak Tree Bereavement Center, which serves grieving teens and adults in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the former director of programs for Kara Palo Alto, America’s oldest grief and bereavement organization. Dr. Nagle-Burks is certified by the Association of Death Education and Counseling, the Archdiocese of San Francisco Pastoral Ministry, Jewish Community Services, and the Grief Recovery Institute. Dr. Nagle-Burks offers the “Narrative of Grieving” Programs and Seminars to educate practitioners to support people through grieving the death of a loved one. She is the author of “A Safe Space: Grief and Loss Curriculum for Grades K-5,” and, “The Narrative of Grieving: A Reporter Sifts Through American Television Network Coverage of the 51 Days at Waco, TX.” Dr. Nagle-Burks is an on-call grief counselor on the National Disaster Team. A member of the San Francisco Bay Area End of Life Network, she is committed to educating professionals about the important yet neglected process of disenfranchised grief. As a radio talk show host, her weekly program, Sundays at noon, on KUSF-FM San Francisco ( interviews authors who often discuss how the death of a loved one turned them toward writing.

How we charge for our services
Fees are based on individual yearly income. A request is made at the initial interview for a participant pledge.

Advisory Panel

Sylvia Boorstein, PhD

Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Woodacre, CA

H. Rex Greene, M.D.

Dorothy E. Schneider
Cancer Center
Mills-Peninsula Health Services
San Mateo, CA

Harold Kushner
Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel

Author, When Bad Things
Happen to Good People

Natick, MA

Letty P. Morris, LCSW

Cancer and Heart
Healing Groups
Seton Medical Center,
Daly City, CA

Linda Silver, MFT

Graduate Clinical Program
California Institute of
Integral Studies
San Francisco, CA

Nancy Trahms, M.D.

The Doctors Trahms Corp.
Greenbrae, CA

Donna Collins Williams, R.N.,
Clinical Education Specialist
Redwood City, CA