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Helpful Resources

Grief and Bereavement

When a loved one dies, it can be hard to know how to deal with your grief. It’s different for everyone, and it’s okay to feel the way you feel. You may find your grief lasts longer and is much harder than you thought. But by letting yourself grieve, you’ll find your own ways to remember and honour your loved one.

Is it normal to feel grief?

Feeling grief is normal when a loved one dies. It can help to remember a few things:

  • grief isn’t a sign of weakness—it’s a natural response to the death of a loved one
  • there’s no “right” way to grieve - everyone grieves differently
  • healing doesn’t happen overnight—everyone grieves in their own time
  • you may be surprised by how many parts of your life are affected by grief:
    • your physical health
    • your mental health
    • your relationships
    • your religious or spiritual beliefs

What can I do to deal with grief?

During this hard time, there are things you can do to help yourself. These are some things that some people have found helpful. These may or may not fit for you.

  • try to accept the reality of the loss
  • be okay with all of the feelings of grief
  • talk about it and share your grief with friends and family. Expressing your grief in a way that is meaningful to you can be very helpful.
  • if someone tells you to “snap out of it,” find someone more supportive to talk to
  • take care of your health by:
    • resting
    • eating well
    • being aware of your physical and emotional limits, and the reality that they may be different than before the death/loss
    • exercising (e.g., a 30-minute walk every day)
  • keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings
  • get professional help, like grief counselling, if you need it

How do I know if I need help?

You may want support to deal with your grief if you:

  • have trouble doing everyday things
  • are thinking about the loss again and again
  • have trouble eating or sleeping (too much or too little)
  • have less energy to care for yourself and your family
  • feel hopeless or helpless (e.g. “No matter how hard I try, I’ll never get through this.”)

The above are common signs of grief, talk to your health care provider if you are finding that they are affecting your day to day functions for a long period of time.

Alberta Bereavement Directory on Inform Alberta
Find bereavement support groups and individual counselling in

Additional Resources

Below are additional grief and bereavement resources from the Canadian Virtual Hospice. The Canadian Virtual Hospice provides support and personalized information about palliative and end-of-life care to patients, family members and health care providers.

Indigenous Voices: Stories of Serious Illness and Grief

Indegenous-Voices.jpgIndigenous people are commonly underserved in the health care system and their access to palliative care is among the lowest in Canada. To help improve quality of life and quality of care that is culturally safe and inclusive, Virtual Hospice and a team of Indigenous researchers, health providers, patients and families developed Indigenous Voices: Stories of Serious Illness and Grief

The series includes videos and print materials in which First Nations, Inuit and Métis from across Canada share stories about traditions, rituals and spirituality, experiences of care and after death ceremonies and grieving. The video series includes 170 short video clips organized by theme. Highlights are captured in four longer videos:

  • Ceremony, tradition and spirituality
  • Caring for the patient and family
  • Walking along side for a good death
  • Honouring our loss and grief

To view the Indigenous Voices series go to


Canadian Virtual Hospice​

Canadian Virtual Hospice is pleased to launch - for anyone trying to understand and work through their grief. is also an educative tool for health providers. was developed by Canadian Virtual Hospice, in collaboration with national and Albertan grief experts and families

Adapted from Calgary Zone - Grief Support Program​​​​​​​​​​